Women break Baghdad's cycle of violence with bike marathon

Women break Baghdad's cycle of violence with bike marathon
Blog: Braving bomb threats and prejudice, a group of Iraqi women took to the streets on bicycles in what has been described as Baghdad's first 'female bike marathon'.
2 min read
05 Dec, 2016
Around 20 women took part in Baghdad's 'female bike marathon' [AFP]
Iraqi women cyclists took to the streets of Baghdad on Monday in the country's first "female bike marathon" in a show of defiance and solidarity.

Dozens of women got on their bikes after a photo went viral last week showing an Iraqi woman riding through Baghdad's streets with the message: "I am society".

Marina Jaber said she sent out the tweet because she wanted to "break the status quo of Iraqi society", where it is uncommon, to say the least, to see Iraqi women on a cycle.

The cycle convoy also comes as Islamic State group militants have stepped up their bombings of Baghdad, including one attack in the city centre last week.

Still, the women braved these threats - and some funny looks - on a two-wheel tour of the capital.

They were later joined by a group of men in what has been touted as Baghdad's first organised "mixed gender" bike ride.

Baghdad in recent years hasn't been known for good news., but this group of young Iraqis are bringing some life and change back to the streets of Baghdad, proving they, not the bombers, "are society".