Interesting things about cycling you want to know(B) --Women cycling in Iran

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Except for Iraq, Iran is an area where is under a great control of a region. While the women are breaking the fence of cycling ban.

Religious leaders believe that cycling by women is a moral insult, but the number of women riding bicycles is increasing in the congested Iran capital of Tehran

Iran women ride in Mothers Paradise Park where is open to women leisure in Tehran. In a hot spring in Tehran, 32-year-old manager IT Negin is riding her bike through a park. "I love my bike, I often go to the countryside riding with a group of people." she said, "I also ride in the city, to see my mother. I think the number of Tehran women who cycle is on the increase. I even have a friend, she commutes by bike. I am also very happy to do that, but it is too far from my office. And there is no bathing facilities in where we work."

What Negin said in our ears perhaps not surprising, but we have to consider that she is a woman riding a bicycle in the the Islamic Republic of Iran. Despite the hot weather, but Negin still conforms to the dressing principle: wearing long sleeves and pants, wearing headscarves under a helmet, skirts cover the buttocks. But Iran's supreme religious leader is still clear: female cyclists pose a threat to the moral.

In recent months, this problem has become the debating focus of Tehran residents. Because the city is solving two really serious problems: perhaps the world's most serious air pollution and traffic jams. When the car is making the city suffocating, movements to encourage cycling are increasingly developing.

Under the label #Iranian Women Love Cycling#, someone posted such a Twitter: "when we heard that the decretal ban women riding, we immediately rented two bicycles." In the autumn of 2015, a young environmentalist launched the "no car Tuesday" campaign to encourage people to ride to work in Arak which is more serious in pollution than Tehran. This movement became popular, another city also followed the trend across the country. The municipal governments began to encourage residents to ride a bike, put their private car stay at home.

Naturally, the female cyclist noticed that it is an excellent chance: purifying air, which will be agreed with every Iran people. After all, Iran was not officially banned women cycling in law. However, in Marīvān, the western city of Iran, when women take the local authorities’ recommendation to travel by bike instead of driving, they were arrested by the police. After signing the commitment of not riding, they were released on the same day. Then Marīvān residents protest it in a letter to the local government.

Soon after, vice chairman of the Iran women's affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi posted a photo of female riding on her official twitter, citing the state of supreme leader Saeed Ali Khamenei "in compliance with religious conditions, women's cycling is allowed." Subsequently, a female reporter in the report of Tehran times which is a pro-government press quoted a government official who supports women riding, and concluded: "as long as there is no violation of the dress code, women should be free to ride in the street."

However, when Ali Khamenei issued a decree in September 2016, hope was reduced to zero. The decree declares that women are allowed to ride, but not in public.

This decree provoked a strong reaction from the female cyclists, they posted their cycling photos on their social media, and with #Iranian Women Love Cycling# label. In the protesting women, there is a mother and daughter posted a short video of their cycling on the Kīsh Island: " Cycling is a part of our life. After we heard that women are prohibited from riding decree here, we rented two bicycles at once." Another lady posted a photo of her riding on the mountain bike: "when I was a child, my parents didn't buy me a bike, they said the girls did not ride. However, I didn't give up. I jumped on my youngest brother's bicycle, rode in a small alley, even contested with the boys. Some people think they can ban us from engaging in sports and enjoying ourselves relying on rumors and intimidation, and I just want to tell these people, we will never give up easily!"

According to an active lady participation in women cycling, like many things in Iran, what Ayatollah (known to Iran Shi'ite leaders) said can be interpreted in many ways. She chose to remain anonymous and did not want to be connected with twitter label activities.

Generally speaking, the local religious authority decides whether women are allowed to ride. In some city with strict doctrine, it is impossible. But in other places, cycling women will not be arrested.

In spite of high enthusiasm, but making bicycles become the official vehicles in Tehran, is still a long way to go. Often drivers don't realize the existence of cyclists with limited infrastructure. What is more, cycling is great danger in the most city. In addition, the mountains in the city also increased the difficulty for cycling.

Tehran municipal government has taken appropriate measures to promote the popularization of bicycles. Bicycle lanes have been built in some areas of the city, bicycle sharing projects have been established as well. Although it has not yet started to pop up, only a few Tehran people are willing to replace their cars with the rental bikes. In addition, bicycle theft issues also need to solve. Last year, the plan of establishing 120 new bicycle station was announced, and now the site has been completed, but the bike was not ready.

As the society is booming and globalization is developing, we believe that all on the fence will get better under persist hardworking.