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You Girls Are Crazy

31 Oct 2015 By: Guest Blogger 0 comments
You Girls Are Crazy

'You girls are crazy'. A sentence which I heard many times the passed year. Let's go back to the beginning..

I was born in Oudenbosch, a small village in the Netherlands. My three best friends who I have known since the age of six also grew up here. Since the moment our parents allowed us to go on vacation by ourselves, we made a travel each summer. During our student times we lived in different cities but the summers remained blocked for each other.

Strongher Groepsfoto R4WR

In 2013 we started our Masters and it was a coincidence we would all finish at the same time. This coincidence became the perfect opportunity to make a travel together again, but this time we decided to travel for a cause instead of only for our own pleasure. We decided to raise awareness for women's rights. Being brought up in the Netherlands we got the chance to develop and educate ourselves, now it was the perfect opportunity to explore and promote the relevance of women's rights worldwide.

We used our bicycles in order to stand out and create attention for women's rights; our two tandem bicycles which we bought third hand. Next to graduating, we used the year of 2013 to find our own organization Ride 4 Women's Rights (R4WR) and prepare everything.

Strongher groepsfoto reling

On September 2nd 2014 it was finally time: we flew to Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city from where we started our cyling ride back to the Netherlands. The next 14 months we would cross 30 countries on our two tandems visiting local women projects in every country and explore women's rights in different contexts and cultures by talking to both men and women. All the information we collect is shared via our Facebook and website.

The physical challenge of cycling over 14.000 kilometers in 400 days is a way to attract people's attention for the cause of women's rights. Before starting, we did not make the specific connection between cycling and being  women. During our ride though we have experienced that cycling is a way of empowerment as well. We travel independently, we carry all our own stuff including a tent, food and water. We have heard it many times this journey: 'You are travelling just with the four of you? No men? Very brave.' In other countries we also see that women and men experience cycling as a way of gaining freedom.  In Iran for example, it was forbidden for women to cycle until recently. To cycle as a woman in Iran is a positive sign of change. Cycling makes us feel independent. It makes us feel #Strongher.

Carlijn Bettink


  

About Guest Blogger

We want your stories! Strongher is all about inspiring & motivating women and girls to start cycling. And keep cycling! Only together we can do this. Therefore we want you to share your stories with us. What's your motivation? Who inspires you? What got you started? And what keeps you going? Now is YOUR time to TAKE THE STAGE!

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