Indian Cyclists Network

Women - The “Indicator Species”

I got this read from the net... Interesting article.

Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as
disparate as criminology and child ­rearing have shown that women are more
averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates
into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for
riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference.

Clearly, there are many exceptions to these generalizations, and many women are neither risk-averse nor taking children in tow. But in
American cities without safe, well-defined biking infrastructures, men tend to
bike a lot more. In most of New York City, for example, the ratio of male to
female cyclists is three to one (though it should be noted that along the
car-free greenbelts of Central Park, women make up 44 percent of riders).

In European cities, on the other hand, where the infrastructure exists, the split is more even—in the Netherlands, where a lot of cycling takes place, women actually make up 55 percent of the ridership.

This idea of women as indicators is fascinating and I cannot argue with it when I compare the male to female cyclist ratio in my city.

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Comment by Divya Tate on August 29, 2010 at 11:21am
women are an indicator of a lot more than bike-friendliness of course.... the health and maturity of a nation is linked to the well-being of women..... case in point.... our country where female foeticide and infanticide make staying alive an issue for women..... even if you manage to make it, women in this country are way more under-fed (compared to men within their own socio-economic)..... feeling comfortable enough to cycle is a "dur ki baat"!

interesting article, thanks!

and here is another on cycling and women's emancipation!
Comment by Rolls on August 18, 2010 at 1:48pm
The whole idea is brilliant. INR 2k can go a long way there on a cycle.
Comment by Anool J M on August 18, 2010 at 1:07pm
Comment by Anool J M on August 18, 2010 at 1:05pm
and from a VERY surprising corner of the world, we have this story of Girls being empowered :

Bihar’s virtuous cycle
Sometimes the most obvious solutions have the greatest effect. One of India’s most backward states decided to give girls cycles to encourage them to go to school. The bicycle revolution worked so well that a coming election may hinge on it.

Bihar has a refreshing new motif: girls in uniform on shiny new cycles, confident and assured, simply because they go to school.

A little over three years ago, the Bihar government launched the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojana—the chief minister’s cycle scheme for girls. The plan entitled girls in class IX and X to a free cycle from the state or Rs2,000 to buy one—mirroring a scheme started by Tamil Nadu, but revolutionary all the same for a state such as Bihar, where the girl child has traditionally received short shrift (as in most of India).

Being Bihar, this stunt obviously is dictated with politics and elections in mind. In any case, seems a good story.


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