Today in Bamiyan, Afghanistan girls were given bikes for the first time as part of a bike distribution program. This is the first of its kind we’ve seen apart from our own work to get girls on bikes. Our hearts are exploding with happiness to see an Afghan led organization using bikes for social change to empower young girls. This is what we have hoped to see for years, that normalizing bikes for girls could lead to acceptance and eventual use for the bike as a tool for social justice.
According to the post today on Facebook by friends in Bamiyan, “The Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA), a local non-governmental organization, distributed bicycles to girl students in Bamyan province of Afghanistan with the aim of prevention of child marriage and to boost awareness on women and children rights.”
It is important to note, that this would not be possible if not for the continued work of one Afghan woman, Zahra Hosseini, who started riding bikes in Bamiyan several years ago, and began teaching other girls to ride. She planted the seeds that we see beginning to flower today. She and other girls in Bamiyan normalized the idea of girls riding bikes, and worked to communicate with local mullahs and conservative families that tried to shame them into stopping.
Change like this starts slowly, but in a generation, we hope this will be the norm. Ride on ladies, ride on!
All photos by Latif Azimi