A new transport service deemed acceptable under Islamic sharia law is fast gaining popularity in Indonesia, ABC News reported.
‘Sharia ojeks’ are women-only motorbike taxis with female riders. Around 600 women riders are employed by the company called Ojesy, which is a contraction of the words “syariah” (sharia) and “ojek” (motorcycle taxi).
Sharia ojeks now operates in 20 Indonesian cities. Business is booming as religion in Indonesia takes on a bigger role in everyday life.
Under sharia law, women and men who are not related are prohibited from touching each other. That complicates public transport for Indonesia’s growing number of women who are trying to adhere to religious law. In Indonesia’s Aceh province, where sharia law is strictly enforced, many women ride side-saddle to avoid unnecessary contact with the driver. But that is a dangerous way to get around in Jakarta’s apocalyptic traffic. It is hard enough riding pillion.
Ojesy was started by university student Evilita Adriani, who said she started the business out of concern for sexual harassment aboard public transport. Like Indonesia’s ubiquitous green-jacketed GoJek motorbike taxi service, Ojesy is app-based — but unlike GoJek, you won’t see Ojesy drivers loitering on the street while they wait for a fare. Ojesy riders are expected to wear a jilbab under their helmets.