The gender gap is a common issue in different aspects of our lives. It is no exception when it comes to sport. Girls and women have much less involvement in sports than their male counterparts, including the number of female commuter bicycle. The organizations like Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation or WSFF supported by the Youth Sport Trust have looked into the matter. Their study revealed that only 12% of the young age girls were getting into the proper level of physical activity and 51% of girls stopped to practice of physical activity by their school experience.
Several issues that discourage girls from enjoying physical activity in school include, feeling overlooked by the teachers if their performance is not the best in class, lack of confidence about their abilities that make them reluctant to exercise in front of boys and being worried about their unfeminine look during running.
The studies found that a few initiatives have been started such as This Girl Can and Breeze Bike, to encourage women. However, the problem persists in adulthood. Several things are responsible for this gender gap, including social stigma and the infrastructure. Here is a discussion about how the gap can be closed.
The design and infrastructure of the cities are one of the major issues that discourage people from cycling. This factor is not gender specific. Everyone can enjoy riding when the matter of safety is ensured. The cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam are extremely bike friendly. On the other hand, places like Barcelona are reconsidering their structure by widening the roads and adding more green spaces. A bike-friendly design enables cyclists to ride continuously and improves their speed and safety.
Rules of The Road
Besides the road design, there are certain rules of roads, that every rider should abide by. However, everyone does not obey the rules and accidents happen as a result. If both cars and bikes can live in harmony and obey the traffic rules, it will be good for the riders.
The cyclists commute to their works riding on bikes. But reaching at the workplace safely and looking presentable is necessary. It can be ensured by the facilities like a place for changing and showering in or near to the workplace, especially for the female commuters. Safe and convenient storage place for the bikes is another facility that the cyclists look for, to avoid bike theft.
Lack of social acceptance is still a problem existing in the cities that impacts the number of women cyclists. According to many women, a hyper-masculine association in the city is discouraging to them to get involved in cycling. It is improved by the idea that cycling within a city is dangerous.
The gender gap may be closed by increasing the social acceptance of female as bikers. The new bike-friendly designs, maintenance of proper street rules and the facilities for the women cyclists can encourage them to keep their feet on the pedal.