Hunza News

Let’s Promote Cycling for Girls

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 [author image=”” ]Noreen Akhtar,Hailing from Karimabad, Hunza, Student of Asian University for Women. She is an under- graduate student doing her minors in Mathematics and her major will be Environmental Sciences.[/author]
When I started learning cycling at my university, I tried to figure out why I am not able to do cycling till now. Different reasons came in to my mind which led me to figure out some stereotypes that are associated with girls in my society and one of them is that girls cannot do cycling. I asked from people that what will happen if I start cycling in Hunza (my hometown) and they said that people will laugh at me, they won’t support me, girls are not made for cycling, and the posture of cycling is not suitable for girl’s bla bla bla. When I asked ‘why’, they said it’s like that. Our society doesn’t allow that. When I again asked who’s in our society, they said ‘us’. They know that we have made these rules but they are not realizing it or don’t bother to realize it.
I have tried to raise the issue of cycling not only because I want to make our people realize that though we are living in a beautiful and peaceful place with high literacy rate but we have marked some unnecessary boundaries for girls, but also, I want us to realize that the condition of our place (Hunza) is not going to remain same forever. What I mean by condition is the climate change, change in the status of people because of which they have started using personal transport on a large scale and the infrastructure (a day will come when huge apartments will take place of small houses). Now, the question arises that what’s the relation between cycling for girl’s and change in the condition of our place?
We all know that we live in a place where there are small roads, some are broken, some are not even made of concrete and in some places there isn’t even space to park vehicles. Moreover, the increasing trend of using personal transport which we think that it increases our status in the society, as well as the absence of advanced technology to make other ways of transportation is leading our lives towards the problems like pollution and traffic which people in cities are fed-up of. Can we make our roads bigger so that we could use more personal transport? No, because we already have the shortage of land. Should we keep on increasing our transport and not giving any attention to cycling so that China could handle if we face any problem in the future? No.
What’s one of the best solutions? CYCLING. We need to create an environment where not only boys but girls as well as kids could learn cycling and instead of using their personal transport or waiting for the public transport for hours, they could just go by their cycles wherever they want to. This will help us to control air pollution (which we will face in future), lead us towards gender equality which we need, will provide more space on roads and streets for people to walk easily and even to play and will be a best way of doing exercise. I really request the youth members and organizations to ponder upon this situation which we are going to face in near future. We are focusing a lot on the facilities to get education and scholarships and jobs, so please make this policy also part of the areas you really focus on so that people could understand and educate others about the importance of cycling.
So, let’s not let the stereotypes and the so called ‘status’ lead us towards a worst future where we will be spending our lives inhaling smoke instead of fresh air which we do now. Let’s not let the cars and land cruisers fill our roads honking and releasing smoke and destroying our natural beauty which everyone admires. Let’s not set unnecessary boundaries for girls so that we all could have a better life.
 Note: Cycling for girls doesn’t mean only for girls. It’s for everyone including boys, children and adults but we also need to start this trend for girls too. 

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