Guardian’s Bike Blog has posted a wonderful story by Jane Madembo, who is learning that cycling is one surefire way to avoid the collapsed or dysfunctional transportation options available to her in Harare.

Women are not forbidden from riding bicycles in Zimbabwe. But the absence of women on bicycles in our village led me to believe that they were.

Its a lesson that we see time and again. Bicycles allow for mobility that is not contingent on looks, faith or luck:

I was no longer a hostage to religion, tradition or men. I was free. On my bicycle I felt like I was in a room of my own.

The road in Zimbabwe was a harrowing place for women. Jane recounts stories of seductions, sexual assaults and worse – but notes that in “some parts of the world” the car is often used this way – as a weapon of paternalism and misogyny.

I’ll leave Jane Madembo to speak for herself – you can find the rest of the article here:

via The Guardian’s Bike Blog