Wajdja, a great film about a girl and a bike.
When we reported on Saudi women and the restrictions they face trying to bicycle, we also pointed out that North Korean women, many of whom use biking as a commerce and transport means, had to bike only in skirts.
Well, times change, and North Korean women are now allowed to wear pants on their bikes. Parisian women also get to wear whatever they like while biking, since (finally) a law from two centuries ago prohibiting pants was stuck down.So this week it is Saudi women who get a bicycling restriction removed that should have long ago disappeared. However, ironically, the ruling by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Saudi Arabia says that women can NOT ride the bike for transportation. Even when you are riding a bike for the pure pleasure of cycling or participating in an intense race, it's all transportation!
Wajdja's creator, film maker Haifaa Al Mansour.
While on the face of it, this is good news, it does point out the inequality that exists in womens's access to mobility and freedom.
And the barriers aren't just external. Internally, many women need more - more reassurance, support, education, and help - to find their way to biking, whether for fun, transportation, or simply better health.
That's a pity, but good things are happening all the time to get more women on bikes.