Combat Apathy

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The bicycle is a commonly used metaphor for change and freedom – wheels in motion, self powered movement, pedaling a revolution…

The bicycle lives up to this metaphor in Afghanistan as the Women’s National Cycling Team begins to take shape.

Cycling is not an acceptable thing for women to do in Afghanistan, even while women’s sports grow and the first Afghan women have competed in the Olympics, cycling is still considered culturally offensive.  But when the men’s team formed, Kabul girls wanted to ride. At this point, the team is made up of 10-12 women, and despite officially forming the national women’s team, they must be kept as an underground sport. Using borrowed gear, they are trying to build the team and the sport. Whether or not they are aware of it, what they are doing is a huge step for Afghan women as there are only 60-70 female riders…

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