Against the odds, brave Afghan women work for their rights

For Afghan locals, the bicycle is a simple and accessible mode of transportation. Cheap and easy to use, almost anybody can find use for it in their daily lives, either for recreation or to travel to work. For the Afghan woman, the bicycle represents more. It exists as a clear symbol of liberty, independence and freedom. It is a firm stance against the powers that prohibit women from riding bicycles.
Unfortunately, there are many countries where women are forbidden from using bicycles. Afghanistan was one of them then the Taliban regime was still in effect.
Today, things may have changed in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, but when it comes to women’s rights, the situation remains unstable. Many men in power remain desensitized to women’s issues and refuse to budge from their old views and the influence of Sharia law.
Despite the ongoing struggles, there are women in Afghanistan using bicycles and riding around streets, challenging the norm. This shows a great willingness to achieve a much needed change in the country, one that effects all the women around the country.
Afghan Cycles, a documentary by director Sarah Menzies, is expected to release next year. Menzies has decided to focus the story on the lives of young, courageous Afghan women, who hope to “arrive” when they want (Val, I wasn’t sure what this sentence was saying. We can talk about it). However, the story is not just about the challenges and tough times. These women enjoy life, participate in sports and of course, use bicycles to get around!
Menzies, who started working on the documentary in 2013, hopes to find an audience willing to listen to these struggles, support these fighters and contribute to a cultural change.

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