Women may struggle with limited kit and few riding buddies in the UK – but in Afghanistan the National Women’s Cycling Team suffer accusations of immorality and threats of violence just for riding a bike. They do it anyway, and for that they’ve been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The team has been nominated by a group of Italian MPs for the 2016 Nobel Peace prize for their dedication, and hard-work promoting cycling in Afghanistan.
These strong women have been pedalling against stereotypes for years – they’ve suffered insults and death threats so they can have the freedom to ride.
Zahra Hussaini is the proud leader of the women’s cycling team, and explains that women are breaking stereotypes by getting outside and taking up cycling and other sports.
Rather than being deterred by threats, and street harassment, Zahra and her 40 strong women’s cycling team see these threats as challenges to overcome.
In a trailer for a documentary abut the team, one of the riders tells us: “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. People say a lot of things. If we listened to them we would never leave our houses”.