The theme that UN Women has chosen for this year’s International Women’s Day is
“I am Generation Equality” and although it is more an aspiration than a realisation, for sure we are working towards it. In many countries, being a woman riding a motorbike is no longer anything that turns heads. However, in some countries women are still battling with legal restrictions and stereotypes – and are pushing to break these gender boundaries. Bangladesh is such a country and we are proud of our sisters in Bangladeshi Women’s Riders Club/WIMA Bangladesh who, on a regular basis, are arranging events in order to, bit by bit, tear down the boundaries that limit their lives.
This year they are celebrating International Women’s Day by putting on an event with the slogan “Stop Women and Child Rape and Murder Now!” In the following video clip, you can hear Rozen Mahmood, Vice President of WIMA Bangladesh and a long-time motorcycle rider, one of the pioneers in Bangladesh, talk about the event. In Bengali with English subtitles.
In Bangladesh, and many similar countries, riding a motorcycle is not just something you do for leisure, it is also a way to keep you safe. If you have your own transport you are independent, moreover – you do not need to travel on packed busses where men take advantage and grope you or put yourself at risk taking vespa taxis driven by unknown men. Trui Hanoulle, president of WIMA Belgium and Dimple Chaudhary, member of WIMA India, have published an in-depth article about this issue that will be available for you to download here.
In WIMA we love to connect people, here are WIMA members, Nirmali Nath and Dimple (India) who, together with Trui (Belgium), took the WRWR baton to the border of India-Bangladesh to meet up with Israt Kahn Mojlis, president of WIMA Bangladesh and WRWR Ambassador. This is women power – to get things done!
All photos © Trui Hanoulle