What does cycling mean to you? To some it may be a weekend hobby, mode of transport, social outlet, therapy, meditation to name but a few. It’s a luxury that many of us take for granted because riding a bike is considered a social norm, one that we began as children and continued to enjoy into adulthood.
A great pedal movement has been sweeping its way across the Middle East over the past few years. Women have begun to ride bikes in public, overcome adversity and promote the two-wheeled lifestyle in a country not wholly accepting. Cycling for freedom and empowerment, groups of women face abuse, threats and even jail time for riding their bike.
To further encourage women’s participation in sport and cycling, GSMP (Global Sports Mentoring Program) have developed a series of short videos featuring strong Arab women in the Middle East who are using sports as a tool for development, peace and empowerment in their communities.
“I kept riding my bicycle and promoting this sport to females, and now I can say that women’s cycling is growing in our country and you can see more ladies on the bikes in our streets.” – Batoul Arnaout