Afghan Women Challenging Gender Roles with Bikes
I have found myself constantly inspired in the last year by the story of the Afghan Women’s National Cycling team, pushing the boundaries in a country where cycling is considered taboo.
I recently wrote about them and a new film being made about their story on GOOD:
What if you were told you could not ride a bike because you’re a woman? What if your younger sister wasn’t allowed to ride? What if every single woman in your family was kept away from bicycles simply because riding them was seen as immoral?
While most of us have the luxury of being able to head out on two wheels whenever we want to, for the women of Afghanistan, the world of two wheels is reserved for men. Riding a bicycle is a taboo and a sign of immorality. Something so simple—a means of transportation that so many of us take for granted—is off-limits if you’re a female.
But that is changing.
Despite the cultural taboo of females on bicycles, there is an Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team in Kabul. These women who challenge their country’s gender expectations by riding are the subjects of an upcoming film called Afghan Cycles (Let Media). Earlier this year, co-directors Sarah Menzies and Whitney Connor Clapper travelled with Mountain2Mountain Executive Director Shannon Galpin to Afghanistan with a stash of cameras and more than 350 pounds of bike gear. The goal was to document these amazing, courageous women, but also to provide support for what is hopefully a growing movement.
You can read the full article here. And to support the team, Mountain2Mountain is currently doing a 100 Bikes by Christmas campaign – to help in the launch of a new women’s mountain biking team in Bamiyan – as well as a bike gear drive. To take part and support these women visit mountain2mountain.org/donation or email info[at]mountain2mountain[dot]org.