Egyptian women get on wheels to break taboo
Egyptian women of different ages rode their motorcycles and scooters for some 30 km on the Cairo-Suez highway on Oct. 1, to deliver a message that women can ride motorbikes just like men.
Dozens of Egyptian biker women dotted a highway in the capital Cairo to encourage more females to take the plunge and get on two wheels.
During a one-day event, women of different ages rode their motorcycles and scooters for some 30 km on the Cairo-Suez highway to deliver a message that women can ride motorbikes just like men.
"Today's event is meant to bring a large number of female riders on the road so that people can see us riding easily just as men do," Wala Zouhier, the event organizer and owner of a motorcycle training academy, told Xinhua.
"We want to unite females for friendship and support by riding on the road," said the young lady, who leads an initiative to encourage women to ride motorbikes and scooters.
Zouhier pointing out that the ride will also promote the idea that women have the mental and physical abilities to own and ride a motorbike.
"We want to break a taboo and support women to use motorcycles and scooters as a means of transportation," she said, "the number of female motorcyclists is rapidly increasing now and more girls are willing to know how to ride a motorbike or a scooter."
For Heba Ahmed, a radiologist who got a scooter license recently, riding with a group is an exciting experience that she was longing for.
She revealed that it was uncommon for people in Egypt to see women riding motorbikes. However, she said the phenomenon of female bikers is gaining momentum in the North African country.
"People are beginning to accept that women ride motorbike...male drivers on the road show respect to us and I personally did not get harassed while riding," Ahmed told Xinhua as she sat on her scooter.
"I go to work by riding my scooter and people do not feel surprised...it helps me arrive on time when there is a traffic jam. My coworkers like the idea and some of my female colleagues are seriously thinking to learn how to ride scooters."
Heba Abdelhamid, a middle-aged employee at an international company, uses her scooter every day to commute.
"I ride some 40 km everyday...it helps me save time because I live in the overcrowded downtown," she told Xinhua after the ride.
She said that her family members, especially her husband, welcomed the idea, adding that she also received great support from people on the road.
"Riding a motorbike or a scooter gives you freedom and I really love it," Abdelhamid told Xinhua, flashing a smile.