the bicycle, a tool of emancipation for women

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Since the industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century, the bicycle has continued to conquer women, becoming a tool at the service of their freedom. Even today, in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Rwanda, access to bicycles is part of their fight for emancipation.

A saddle, a frame, two wheels and a true passport to freedom. Since the end of the 19the century, the bicycle proved to be a vector of emancipation for women.

First invested by wealthy circles, the little queen is above all a way to have fun, but it quickly becomes a way for women to get away from home. And, to ride better, the skirts get shorter, the corsets fly away. Scandal in the patriarchy!

>> See also, ActuElles: The return of the Tour de France Women, a major step for women’s cycling

The bicycle was widely reviled by society at the time: it was said that the bicycle caused sterility in women, then it was also denounced because of the “exaltation” it provided.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, the suffragettes and other feminists quickly manifested themselves as a means of protest. In France, it is through the bicycle that the right to wear trousers arrives.

However, all over the world, cycling is still a daily struggle. In Saudi Arabia, women have had the right to cycle since 2013, provided they are veiled and accompanied by a male relative. In Afghanistan, a women’s team was formed for the Tokyo Olympics, but the return of the Taliban to power halted the momentum.


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