Women cycling in Afghanistan face everything from accusations of immorality to threats of violence – yet a select group ride anyway.
We covered the story of the National Women’s Cycling Team of Afghanistan in detail a couple of years ago and also shared a short film documenting their progress.
LET media, the crew behind the initial film sought funding for a longer feature about the team in 2013.
They have now released a trailer, but having delved deeper into the lives of women in Afghanistan, are seeking further funding to help them put the finishing touches to a more in depth exploration of the Team and other female cyclists.
They explain: “Shortly after we began interacting with these women and learning more about them, we realized that this wasn’t just a short documentary to profile the National Team. To do this story justice, it would have to become a feature length film, focused not just on the National Team, but on the brave female cyclists all over Afghanistan who are pushing gender and cultural barriers using the bicycle as a vehicle for freedom of mobility, independence, and social change.”
The film will feature many brave women – among them members of a rural club in Bamiyan, and a cycling club who operate and ride in the busy streets of Kabul.
LET media have said: “These women are risking their honor and their lives for the joy and liberation of riding a bicycle.”
In the trailer, one woman explains: “People are watching us from behind our backs, it is horrifying” and another adds: “Some people believe women are meant only to stay at home, and all they can do is cook food and do housework.”
We’re told: “They say a bicycle can destroy a girl’s future.” However, these girls do it anyone – explaining: “People say a lot of things. If we listened to them we would never leave our houses”.
One of the women featured tells us something all of us could do with hearing, from time to time: “We have an expression – ‘if you sit, and I sit, others will sit. If you stand, and I stand, others will stand.'”
We’d love to hear more stories from these inspirational women. To contribute, donate on the Kickstarter page here.