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Women and bicycles - the solution for those left behind in the wake of the Mediterranean human tsunami

Leszek J. Sibilski's picture

Also available in: العربية

The entire world is hypnotized by the struggle of the European continent with the rapidly escalating numbers of refugees and migrants from Africa and the Middle East. Yet, only a handful reflect about the plight of those who stay behind, entangled in violence and persecution, or those who remain in refugee camps. Some believe those 'left behind' are the solution and saviors to the future of the Middle East and Africa, and one great way to help them is to give them bicycles.

//“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.” – Susan B. Anthony

In 2015 alone, the UN Refugee Agency reported that of the 520,957 people attempting to cross the Mediterranean, 2,980 died or went missing. Eighteen percent of the migrants are children and 13% are women. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, an estimated 200,000 additional refugees are still planning to make the sea journey by the end of 2015. So, the seismic human waves are far from subsiding in the region.

Today, there are a series of internal and regional armed conflicts around the world, most of which are concentrated in two regions: the Middle East and Africa. The desperate attempts by so many Syrians to flee Assad regime’s and the Islamic state’s terror by escaping to security in Europe has caught the world’s attention. However, Syrians are not alone in deserving compassion. Although international interest in Afghanistan has waned and most foreign troops are gone, the war there is only getting worse. In addition, there is an influx of desperate refugees from Eritrea, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia, and Bangladesh who are just as entitled to refugee status as the others.

While humanity is being washed ashore in the Mediterranean Sea, the treacherous passage does not resemble a migration, but a human tsunami. The departing refugees and migrants leave a vacuum, as the most skilled, able-bodied, and educated keep leaving the continent, most of them are males.  This leaves females, elderly and disabled behind and entangled in the local violence. The families left behind often count on reuniting with their loved ones in the near future or hope to receive remittances to support their livelihoods as they try to rebuild their communities. 
What should the world do with these gutted societies? The global community should invest in women power, leadership opportunities for women, and in modifying the social order with regards to female emancipation on the continent. We must pay immediate attention and react with empathy and solidarity.
One great way to empower women and girls is a bicycle. In poor areas where distance is a challenge, the bicycle in many instances is an obvious choice of reliable transportation and a natural tool to improve the lives of many; and possibly also serving as a “freedom machine.”
As an example, the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami erupted with 9.3 undersea earthquake that lasted up to 10 minutes, causing the entire planet to vibrate. According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. Over the next seven hours, the tsunami reached out across the Indian Ocean, devastating coastal areas as far away as East Africa. The tsunami ultimately claimed over 230,000 lives in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Maldives and Somalia.  World Bicycle Relief (WBR) was one of the first groups to provide bicycles to victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, enabling them to begin to rebuild their lives and communities.

F.K. Day, Co-Founder and President, World Bicycle Relief, once said, “Where freedom and independence is sought and distance is a barrier to accessing vital services and markets, then bicycles serve an essential role in achieving that access.”  World Bicycle Relief accomplishes their mission by providing high quality durable bicycles (Buffalo Bicycles as they are known) with the vision to eliminate distance as a barrier to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. Compared to walking, bicycles increase carrying capacity by five times and distance traveled by four times greater thereby significantly decreasing the time it takes to get to and from schools, clinics and markets. Bicycles are simple, sustainable and appropriate technology to bridge the transportation gap between needs and resources empowering girls, families and communities.
Zambian youth ride biksDue to the success of the tsunami relief program, aid organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa requested World Bicycle Relief’s assistance with a healthcare program. The organization provided 23,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to volunteer healthcare workers treating HIV/AIDS patients in rural Zambia. Measurement and lessons learned from this healthcare program informed the expansion of its programming to education, bicycle field mechanic training, and social enterprise solutions. Over the past ten years, World Bicycle Relief has distributed more than 260,000 specially designed Buffalo Bicycles.
With a similar spirit, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which represents the sport of cycling, views the growth of women’s participation as one of its key missions. Indeed, the sport of cycling may be one of the means to overcome some of the cultural barriers women face to using the bike as a means of transport. In Afghanistan, for instance, the creation and support of a women’s national cycling team has helped make cycling acceptable for women in one of the world’s poorest and socially unequal countries. “Cycling is a sport of growing significance for the Middle East, with new races like the Abu Dhabi Tour and next year’s UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, but also means of inspiring people to be more active, teach kids about road safety and use the bike as a means of transport,” states Brian Cookson OBE, The President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

Watch this trailer for a glimpse of the encouraging changes possible as girls discover their voice and purpose, including the power of riding a bike: 

Afghan Cycles

There is a saying in the development community, “never waste a crisis.”  The current tragic Mediterranean human tsunami carries many opportunities not only for those who seek asylum, but also for those who were left behind, who are trapped in refugee camps in neighboring countries, or who deserve immediate humanitarian assistance.

As the number of displaced people grows amid ongoing political conflict in Syria, InterAction, members remain committed to the response effort.

Why don’t we provide them with the tools for survival that could possibly lead to a peaceful prosperity? The positive synergies of determined women and reliable bicycles have the potential to put the Middle East, and as a matter of fact, the entire continent of Africa on the path to stronger, self-sustaining communities. In the newly adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 14 of them may include opportunities to utilize the bicycle to transform our world for the better by 2030! The Goals will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet and bicycle may play major role as a solution in this Agenda.

Photograph of Yemeni woman mounting a bicycle in front of the Saleh mosque in Yemen's capital by Bushra al-Fusail/MEE/permission given to World Bank
Photograph of Zambian youth riding bicycles courtesy of World Bicycle Relief

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Submitted by TIm E on

Thank you for offering this article that includes a common sense strategy to help people in need gain mobility and an opportunity to better support their families in the difficult situations they face. I was also glad to see the video of the women cyclists in Afghanistan. They are pioneers and heroes who quietly proclaim a message of hope and inspiration to us all.

Submitted by Ethan Hoffman on

To summarize this article, bikes could be the first step in solving internal problems in the Middle East and Africa. I found this article to be incredibly intriguing as well as mind-opening. Many of the few people left, especially women, in the Middle East and Africa are really in a tight situation; they're resources are limited and, unlike city life in America, many buildings, businesses, and houses are spread out. Bikes provide a cheap, easy, and efficient way for those who choose to stay in their home countries a method of transportation much quicker than walker. Also, bikes don't take up much space and cost almost nothing to maintain. Bikes are giving these struggling Middle Eastern and African a women a chance to empower themselves! They can now get to work, do shopping, and travel much faster than ever before; this goes for the kids as well. An hour long walk to school may now only take 15 minutes thanks to bicycles. Although numerous amounts of civilians are fleeing the Middle East and Africa, the bike is giving great opportunity to those who're staying, and maybe even a reason for some not to leave.

Submitted by Nicholas Jungmarker on

Learning about how different women in other countries are treated really puts a different perspective on how I view society in the US. It also makes me think about how empowering it is to women in places like Afghanistan to be given the opportunity to ride bicycles, because it allows them to fight for their rights in a nonviolent manner since the men of their society tell them it's wrong. How does it make any sense in any part of the world that riding a bike can ruin a girl's future? Not only are these women gaining the courage to do something men tell them they shouldn't do, but they're gaining from it. These women are able to ride bikes to school, go to work, clinics if they need to, markets, etc. The reason this is so important is because the same men who are telling them they can't ride bicycles are the ones who are fleeing their countries and leaving the women, disabled and elderly behind in an oppressed society. Thanks to organizations like World Bike Relief and Buffalo Bicycles women are being given the opportunity to become empowered in their own home countries.

Submitted by Henok Gaim on

This sounds like a wake up call, we still live in a world with discrimination and prejudiced on all phases. The migrants who are attempting to leave shouldn't have to run for their lives, but yet its the only choice they have to make in an attempt to create a better life for themselves. Some people are critical over the migrants choice to enter other countries illegally but we'll never know exactly who they are and what they had to go through unless we were or are in their shoes. I think the video served as a unique perspective to cycling as it is more than just a sport or activity. Personally, living in the U.S.A, riding a bike is simply riding a bike, but to these women it's more than that. The World Bicycle relief project is truly bringing in new ways to inspire and change the world around us, many people send aid through water or food but the WBR decided to send bikes, who would have thought that would help. It's a truly unique perspective on how to assist developing countries who are going through tough times. Cycling is more than a sport, it brings freedom, aid, and togetherness.

Submitted by aminata carter on

This article really caught my attention and its important that women around the world are able to ride bicycles. Now a days many women don't really know how to ride bikes especially in places like the Middle East and Africa. Living in places where transportation wasn't really available. I believe more women around the world should be able to get to places on there own and not have to struggle with walking for miles. As stated in the article the bicycle is a "freedom machine" for women and children to encourage them to be on there own. Compared to walking bicycles increase carrying capacity by five times and distance traveled by four times greater. Being able to save time and help the environment at the same time. The community around should invest in women and provide leadership opportunities.

Submitted by Olivas on

I completely agree with this article. Reading it, it created a different perspective of bicycles and what it can provide for other people. Not only is a bicycle a great way for "freedom" it allows easy, more effective transportation without much cost to those who use it. Not only is it beneficial to them, it will also help the environment, unlike cars. This idea will allow women to provide for their family. It will also allow much more work to be done in quicker time. I agree 100% with this article and it should be a plan we put to action.

Submitted by Darinka on

I am so pleased to have read this article. It is really eye opening because bikes really are powerful. I think bikes are an easy and cheap way to get around town. All the people who suffered from the tsunamis and earthquakes may have hope with bikes. It can be a way for them to jump back into their regular lives and get around town. Riding a bike is also better for the environment. Some of these people in these countries may not have money for a car but a bike is even better due to its convenience. Hopefully them receiving these bikes can make them stay and not fight their lives trying to flee their country.

Submitted by Jennifer Cruz on

I always look forward to reading articles on The World Bank, however, this article really got to me because of the information brought up. Gender has always been a issue in society. I do believe we are all different but putting restriction is unnecessary. I enjoyed watching the video as well. Men shouldn't be the only ones allowed to use bicycles women should be allowed to too. Women shouldn't feel like in their home like in the early sociology where they lived by the four C's ( church, cooking, children , and clothes). Reading this should help influence what is happening in Africa and Asia because the biggest problem our society has is not being aware. Thank you for sharing this !

Submitted by FD on

When most of the educated, skilled able bodied males leave the continent due to a series of regional armed conflicts they leave behind the women, children and the elderly to fend for themselves. A bike is a sustainable and reliable form of transportation to help the women and girls in this gutted society. It gives these women an easy form of transportation while helping to improve their lives giving them back some of their freedom. The bikes not only can increase their distance traveled they can also carry more items and get to much needed places such as the market or school. These special bikes are called buffalo bicycles and they can aid even when natural disasters strike helping to get much needed aid into difficult areas.
These bicycles serve such a diverse purpose showing women how valuable and needed they are in this society. It gives them a way to improve their neighborhood, one pedal at a time.

Submitted by Leena Devadas on

While this whole refugee situation is tragic, some good can come out of this for the women and children that are left behind with the help of bicycles. Bicycles could be the key to releasing women from being kept prisoners at home. I think it could really start a movement towards the freedom and rights for the women struggling in those countries with something as small as being able to ride a bicycle. It may be a small thing for us but for these women, it is a big step towards their freedom. This article opened my eyes to how much we take for granted the freedom we have and inspired me to do whatever I can and to raise awareness and motivate others to do whatever they can to help women around the world who are unable to do the same normal things we can. Women shouldn't have to live in fear and should be able to practice the same rights as everyone else and now we have the opportunity to make that change.

Submitted by TheOneCalledB on

Thank you for writing this article. In my opinion, developed countries should always do what they can to provide relief to troubled people in need. While many may frown upon spending taxpayer funds on relief for foreign nations, I doubt anyone could argue against the positive impact bicycles would have after reading this article.

Having spent time in Afghanistan myself, I know first-hand how having a simple mode of transportation increased my quality of life. Bicycles were definitely the preferred method of transportation for many military members, as getting around the 1600 acre base could prove to be a bit challenging. Without having one, I'm sure I would have gotten into trouble often for tardiness thanks to the "questionable" public transportation driven by contractors. A bicycle definitely saved my military career, in a small but meanigful way.

Submitted by Djeye Lumbuku on

Empowerment to people is something that has a big impact on society. Empowerment to women and young females brings a new level the way women are view in society. People tend to undermine females as being inferior to men. By females getting bicycles, it brings a new view to women. It gives them more power and freedom to do what they need to do to get where they want to be in life. Through the use of cycling, it is allowing people to get the needed medical assistance to survive. Hopefully soon people will see the importance of cycling and how it empowers others leads to change.

Submitted by Jermaine Fabay on

Reading this article, reminds me of how blessed I am to live in this free and prosperous country. Women can do almost as what men can do. We have so many privileges that we take for granted. But other countries especially in the Middle East and Africa are deprived from the privileges that we have. It's amazing how a simple bike for us can be the instrument for almost of everything to them (i.e., going to school, market, hospital, and etc.). Thankfully, there people who have big heart to mind their situation and reach for them, and generous heart to give them the items for survivals such as bicycles. The people who are left behind in the countries of Middle East and Africa will be empowered by the simple bicycle. And may this serves as a hope for the future generations. We can also be a channel of blessing to them by simply sharing and spreading this kind of article.

Submitted by Johel Encarnacion on

Many children and even women are disappearing and even getting killed because they are trying to pass the Mediterranean sea. There are many obstacles to why people can't make it over and there are dangerous. To solve this there should be more bikes available for those who want to get past it. There is very few resources to help and the Middle east and Africa need all the help they can get. The people need bikes not just to get across the sea but to have a better and easier access to many different things. Either way if they are staying or leaving bikes are needed to help make transportation easier. Women and children there are struggling and no one should have to die just to leave

Submitted by Julienne on

With the rapidly escalating numbers of refugees and migrants from Africa and the Middle East, there are a handful being left behind. It is believed that these survivors will be the saviors of the future of Africa and the Middle East through bicycles. It is a tragedy that 2,980 of the 520,957 people attempting to cross the Mediterranean died or went missing. One great way to empower women and girls is a bicycle. In poor areas where distance is a challenge, the bicycle in many instances is an obvious choice of reliable transportation and a natural tool to improve the lives of many; and possibly also serving as a “freedom machine.” I think it is wonderful that World Bicycle Relief (WBR) was one of the first groups to provide bicycles to victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, enabling them to begin to rebuild their lives and communities. This is a great cause and more people should get involved!

Submitted by Alejandra on

"Freedom Machines" are the two words that stood out to me in the whole article and defined how important it is to these countries to have bikes in their homelands. Not only makes their lives easier but it also shows how grateful they are to have these bikes, as to not having a car wouldn't care for them to have. Another point is the fact how in Afghanistan the women are standing together to have freedom to have the opportunity to go to school and work just by having a "freedom machine". Bikes are a great sources to have in community not only it gets to places quicker but it helps the environment, I'm static how the organizations are providing bikes to these developed countries.

Submitted by rediet on

even if we say it is a modern world, we still live in a society that discrimination and prejudice exist. this article is like a wake up call. it cought my attention. it reminded me how it is important to be able to ride bicycles. I totally agree with this article. it is eye opening.

Submitted by cornelius smith on

The article focuses in the ways bicycles can help the people specifically the refugees and women in the middle east. A couple of the ways that bicycles help people is help make the commute to health care, schools, and markets less demanding. Also the bicycle promotes equality in an area that is sexist towards women by giving the women the feeling for freedom with bikes. Similarly, the article talked about how "not to waste a crisis" and how care can should be provided to make the rebuild easier for the people specifically the people in Indonesia, Thailand, and India. The article mentioned multiple organizations helping with the global issues through the distribution of bikes in local areas. The change done to the middle east just by giving women has empowered them and is once step forward to a more sustainable community in the middle east. Ultimately, stronger and more sustainable communities can be made with something as simple as giving bikes to people.

Submitted by Mary Balanc on

This article talks about a simple topic, but in a revolutionary way. Bicycles can help women whose lives were torn apart by the tsunami. These women can now get their life back on track with the help of bicycles. They now have a cheap and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. In addition to being able to go where they want to go, these women will also be practicing a healthy lifestyle because cycling is a great form of physical exercise. Therefore, I firmly believe that providing people whose lives were destroyed by natural causes with bicycles is an simple, but amazing, solution.

Submitted by Samantha Bateman on

This article brings up a good point that we need to think who is left behind in these countries where war and crisis are happening and not those who are fleeing. I am in awe of these women who are defying their culture's norm and gaining a sense of independence by riding bikes. This article reminds me of a movie I watched a few months ago. The movie title was Wadja, and it was about a little girl in Saudi Arabia who was challenging her communities traditions by trying to buy and ride a bike. It's the strength and independence of the women left in these war-torn countries keeping their community alive, by doing something as simple as riding a bike. Living in the nation's capital of the United States there are many who ride bikes and seeing their love for riding could easily translate to those in other countries. Bikes are becoming a necessary part of life for those living in small villages and under developed countries, and giving them to the largest population in them, women, would help not only those who ride but the future of the country.

Submitted by Yasimine on

It is true that we completely leave out people who are still stuck in the violence with no way to escape when discussing refugee crisis. I can't imagine the amount of helpless mothers who are in a constant state of fear and resentment that they can't do much to support their children. That's all a mother really cares about after all. By donating bikes, and supporting foundations such as the World Bicycle Relief, we can help countless mothers around the world provide for their families. Most people in D.C ride bikes for sport or to save money, however bikes in war torn contries can be a means of survival. It's also important to note that bikes can close inequality gaps between men and women in places like Afghanistan. Small steps like this can lead to many more great possibilities in the future.

Submitted by Carolina Montoya on

I really like the article. It not only got my attention for the information, I like it because it helps to encourage women to be proud of what their are. Also, because it is showing that all those taboos about women are not true. I understand and respect with all my heart some of the believes that other cultures about women, but I'm not agree about they are treated and how others exclude them from things as simple as riding a bike. I love the video, this is the kind of things that governments around the world have to work, invest and improve, in order to have a better society.

Submitted by Sunah Lim on

This article is very impressive in terms of showing mobility can bring one step forward development in society. Also, as a same woman, hope women lives with unequal rights can live better life through bikes. Thanks for sharing this vision with the world.

Submitted by Heog-Chul Kwon on

This is true that bicycle can change the world, I believe small change from the roots can results better society and better world. As Einstein found out theory of relativity on the bike, another revolution will happen to women on the bike in the Middle East.
Bike has power of changing the world. I believe it will happen soon!

Submitted by Eve on

When it comes to bicycles, some people think oh it's nothing much but no bicycles are a very important item. Groups like women can use bicycles to empower themselves and move forward from cultures that minimize their roles in society. People who have been through natural disasters that destroyed their crops, property,life savings can use bicycles to bring themselves back up again. If they were farmers, with the little they have after the disaster, they can use bicycles to transport their produce for sale. Others can use the bicycles as taxis, offering services to the public, there by generating some income for themselves and contributing to society. Bicycles go past traffic jams so easily! There is just so much yet little known about how important bicycles can be. When it comes to environment, bicycles slow down global warming. When it comes to noise, nothing! Bicycles are as quiet as a mouse. Not to forget for the developed countries, there is no need to pay for gas, parking fees, auto insurance, yes! Life is like riding a bicyle, to keep balance, you need to keep moving. Bicycles are the easiest, safest and cheapest way for everyone to keep moving.

Submitted by Alisha K on

It is truly disgusting to see how women are treated like a slave in this world. No freedom, inequality, injustice, oppression and no voice. I don't understand why society always underestimates women power and will. Our society believes and thinks that women are weak, helpless, they cannot do this, and they cannot do that. Why are there so many boundaries for women? Having said that, I love how this article shows a positive outlook on a role of a women in countries where freedom and equality does not exist for women. The girls on bike in Afghanistan are truly inspiring and a huge role models. Their fearlessness and bravery gives hope to many women in Afghanistan. In the video, one girl stated that "people think Bicycle can destroy a girls future." In my point view, bicycle does not destroy a girls future. Our society and conservative people destroys girls future by locking them in the dark. Bicycle is not the problem, people are. One bicycle has the power to change a person's future. One bicycle can lead to many opportunities, especially in undeveloped countries. To these girls, Bicycle is the key to unlock the golden doors of freedom.

Submitted by Gian on

Bicycles as "freedom machines" makes it possible to bridge the distance gap between women in particular and essential services. In the book it was said that women in early sociology only had the role of a house wife which is similar to what the video showed. One of the Afghan female in the video said that the men thinks that the women are better off staying home and taking care of house chores. Women standing up against these stereotype is a gteat way to show the world that they too can be part of a functioning society, perhaps being a leader and not only stay home. With the use of bicycles, women could overcome cultural barriers. It is important that we hear these women's voices as they will be an important asset when it comes to rebuilding society especially in the war torn country of Afghanistan. It's very important to support the women in all societies!

Submitted by Melanie Lee on

Having a bike or any type of transportation is something we all take for granted. Some people don't have any way of getting to work or school besides walking. Imagining how it would be if I didn't have a car or someone to take me to school is quite unsettling. Walking such a far distance to and from school everyday would be exhausting and I do not know how I would have the time and energy to do all of my homework and study. There are people who do this every single day and we take our privilege for transportation for granted because we're so accustomed to it. It is amazing what the World Bicycle Relief organization is doing for so many countries. Providing thousands of bikes for people who have almost if not lost everything in hard times is absolutely heart warming.

Submitted by Michael G. on

It's great to see people care the refugee crisis that's going on in the world. With the topic of women in middle eastern countries being able to make a life for themselves because of cycling is heartwarming to see. This is because not many people are able to do the things they want to do in life due to a restriction or disability. But with the women able to bike to places they need to get to, they are able to achieve more things throughout their days. It's nice seeing that even though the norm of these areas try holding people back, these women are able to break the mold and keep moving forward. Hopefully, the future will become even brighter for these countries.

Submitted by Shan L. on

Thank you for posting this article. Cycling is something small but can have great impact on the future. It gives people especially women freedom. It allows people to go out and to work at farer places. They can carry more goods than what they used to do. It also gives women a opportunity to leave their homes, away from cook and do house chores and become somebody that they always want to be. Cycling is a really cheap way that everyone can do to help improve our society and to help end poverty. Give people a bike to ride is like give them a pair of wings to fly. Go cycling.

Submitted by Stephen Hahm on

When we think about transportation, we normally think about cars, bus, and trains. However, we don't actually think about the alternative ways to travel which is bicycle. It is amazing how these women are using bicycle to escape their country's conflict and be independent. World bicycle relief is doing a great thing by offering bicycles to those in needs. Not only that, they are also providing education, economic development, and also healthcare. This article shows that there are other good ways to use bicycle other than transportation. More and more people should be aware of how other people are using bicycles for their own personal reasons and be motivated by other's idea. This article just shows how we can use our bicycle and how it can help us overcome our conflicts.

Submitted by Arghavan Gilanshah on

In this world all humans should be treated equally and they should have freedom. Freedom and equality are the two main aspects of life that every individual deserves it as a right of living. However, in some countries there is a big gap between men's and women's rights, such as Africa, middle east ,and most of the Islamic countries. In some religions women are not allow to do many things that men do. Women in the counties with more freedom, such as the United States, have the right of freedom and they can do whatever they want. However, women in the counties with no freedom are not allow to do even simple things that all humans can do to live. For example, all over the world humans are bicycling as a sport, fun, or to travel from one place to another, but in Islamic countries women cannot bicycling because it is against the law and their religion. I am a middle eastern girl, who been raised in the country which there is no freedom for women. People in my country believe that women are not allow to do whatever men do and they do not have a permission to leave the house. In Islamic countries women roles are cooking, cleaning, giving birth, and taking care of the house and children. In contrast, in other countries women have the same rights as men have, and they can work outside the house and even become more powerful than men. We need to give the power to women so they can become powerful not only in some countries, in all countries around the world. This is the justice that most of the women need it especially the ones in Islamic countries.

Submitted by Adam Jordan on

This article is very powerful. I love what it stands for and how it helps. I agree with what this article talks about. I have a whole new outlook on how bicycles can help millions of people. If bicycles can help change the way society gets around, then I'm behind it fully. Transportation is huge in society. People don't really think about how transportation changes society but if you read this article, then you will have a whole new outlook on transportation and how bicycles help millions of people.

Submitted by Helena Nielsen on

Bikes are a great way of an cheaper and quicker way of transportation. After watching the video the article drew my attention even more. Some women in other countries don't have as much freedom, but shows women feel empowerment when able to ride a bike because it makes them feel equal to men. Bikes are a great way to spread that message that people all over the world should be able to take a stand on their life and i believe that bikes did that for them. When countries are in need bikes are a great way of transportation for any reason, especially after a natural disaster. This is because it is easier to get around and doesn't require as much development around them to be able to use them. Bikes can be road any where and never require a road, which also helps it to be a great easy and cheap way of transportation. This article does a great job of showing what just bikes can do to embrace someones power and will for equality.

Submitted by Guisbelle Mejia on

This article and short video is filled with inspiration. Women in Afghanistan have taken a stand and want to have the same rights as men. Although it is a country that demands women to stay home and out of society's way, they are entering a new era where they want to be able to have their own rights and say of who they want to be. Bicycles is an important and huge step into freeing their rights. Not only are bicycles creating a statement but are opening doors to a healthier and easier lifestyle. It is opening minds to new possibilities and allowing women and children to have easier access to things they didn't have before. This article show inspire others to give that opportunity to others around the country who aren't accessible to bicycles and give them the chance to ride and feel their freedom unravel. There are no negative consequences to having access to a bicycle it is a environmentally safe resource that is slowly changing lives and breaking restrictions among our world.

Submitted by Diego cortaza on

This article is great because it brings attention to an important equality issue. The oppression of the middle Easter women is often overlooked, for reasons like " it has always been like that" or "that is their culture". In recent years, the women have started to speak out and show that they want to change and also want their independence. Freedom through bikes could be a small and simple step we take towards equality for this hurting women! They need our help and we have to show a helping hand. We can not let them fight alone!

Submitted by Jen M on

I do believe that bicycles are freedom machines. They are the start of what could be equal representation for all women's round the world. Taking this small step allowed women the freedom of transportation and from there, it was the freedom to wear pants. Giving women bicycles is the an important key to women rights and it's amazing how it's already starting.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I really love this article. It discusses very important issues that girls are facing today and shows how we have to stand for each other. The video was very moving and really made me want to help these girls. Bicycles are our future!! We must stand together

Submitted by Tg on

With the growing number of refugees around the world, people are being forced to interact with different cultures, religions, and norms they are not used to. This can lead to both good and bad concequences. This article describes how bicycles can empower women because it's a good transportation method and could be used as a freedom machine.

Submitted by Tg on

With the growing number of refugees around the world, people are being forced to interact with different cultures, religions, and norms they are not used to. This can lead to both good and bad concequences. This article describes how bicycles can empower women because it's a good transportation method and could be used as a freedom machine.

Submitted by Kimberly Barros on

Thank you for bringing to the surface this issue, an issue that may not glean a positive outcome. You brought out a point I didn't even think of. Those who remain do face such hardships and now I find comfort and those inflicted from all this pain that there is hope for a better life. Bicycles are the future for these women and these children. The empowerment that it gives them will not only help rebuild their nation and communities but it will rebuild the strength within themselves.

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