How bicycles helped women move forward and share women empowerment.

Bicycles have played an important historical — and often unheard of — role in women’s empowerment.

When the first safety bicycles, or modern day bicycles, were invented in late 19th century, a bicycle boom engulfed the nation. Suddenly, the dangerous high-wheeled bikes used for extreme men’s sport were replaced by a safer design model that could be ridden by almost anyone — including women.

As it became safer and less expensive to own, the bicycle became the mainstream transportation tool for everyday use. For women, it also gave them newfound freedom of movement.

The previous generation of Victorian women were culturally expected to stay at home. Idealized for virtues such as domesticity and motherhood, the Victorian woman’s role kept her away from public life. The bicycle afforded women an accepted way to be outside as part of society including when it came to business and politics. Through simple mobility, the bicycle also helped to accelerate many women’s rights.

To find out more visit World Bicycle Relief.

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