Afghan women launch motorbike riding campaign against domestic violence


Ten young Afghan women from the remote province of Daykundi in central Afghanistan showed their motorbike riding skills, designed to bring people’s attention to the issue of women’s rights in the country.

They are part of a 16-day campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence. The campaign began on November 25 and ended on December 10 and featured special events, including the aforementioned motorcycle riding.

It is rare for a woman in Afghanistan’s remote villages to ride a motorbike. In contrast, in the country’s mountainous areas where there are no proper roads, it is considered normal to use bikes.

Despite this, for many Afghanis the thought of a woman riding a motorbike is strange.

Marzieh Hamdard, director of the Women’s Affairs Office in the Daykundi province, told Independent Persian: “This event was organised to show that riding a motorbike is a normal activity, and that women have the right to go about their day to day lives in an open, safe and better environment”.

The motorcyclists from Daykundi also called on other families to let their daughters learn how to ride bikes so that their lives could be made easier.

Around 60 years ago, the United Nations declared November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Every year, on this occasion, campaigns are organised with the purpose of creating a better world for women. Traditionally, campaigns are organised for 16 days from November 25 until December 10 which is Human Rights Day.

These coordinated campaigns focus on tackling issues such as domestic violence.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) announced last week that in the past 10 months, 3,888 cases of domestic violence have been recorded in the country. Taking into account the large number of cases that go unreported, the statistics are on the rise.

According to officials from the AIHRC, crimes are becoming increasingly violent with 35% of recorded cases involving physical abuse such as murder, assault, mutilation, injury, or forced labour. (Source: Independent UK)