Religious leaders in Iran consider women on bicycles a threat to morality. But as traffic chokes the capital, Tehran, a counter-movement is growing
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It’s a hot spring day in Tehran, and Negin, a 32-year-old IT manager, is riding her mountain bike through a park. “I love my bike. I often go cycling in the countryside with a group,” she says. “I also cycle in the city, when I go to visit my mother, for example. I think the number of women cycling in Tehran is growing. I even have a friend who goes to work on her bike. I would love to do that, but it’s too far and we don’t have showers at work.”
What Negin is saying might not sound strange, if it weren’t for the fact that she’s a woman, on a bike, in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In spite of the heat, Negin is conforming to the dress code – she wears long sleeves and leggings, a headscarf under her helmet and a skirt covering her hips – but religious leaders at the highest level in Iran are clear: women on bikes constitute a threat to morality.
When we heard the fatwa banning women from cycling, we immediately rented two bicycles
مطلب ارسالي از اصفهان ؛ من اين مادر ديدم و عشقي كه در او جاريست باور كنيد حتي طرفداران خود خامنه اي هم ناراحت اند و باور نمي كنند كه او دوچرخه سواري را براي مادران اين سرزمين حرام مي داند. #من_عاشق_دوچرخه_ام #IranianWomenLoveCycling
When I was a child, my parents did not buy me a bicycle. They said a girl doesn’t ride a bicycle. But I did not give up