Can you win the Nobel Peace Prize for cycling? Possibly. If you are the Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team. This tough group of women face challenges daily that will make your next urban traffic dodging exercise seem trivial.
They are already in the running for the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year award. But their story has reached new levels of exposure with the help of documentary film makers and the movie “Afghan Cycles.” But the nod in the form of a nomination for the Nobel Peach Prize has really garnered headlines.
Around 118 Italian MPs across parties signed a petition, last month, nominating the Afghan Cycling Federation’s women’s team for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The 40 person team, lead by Zahra Hussaini, face many of the same challenges that women all across the globe face. But in Afghanistan, it rises to a whole different level. It is a culture where women are expected to do… well… nothing. A woman throwing her leg over a bike is more than discourage. It is a social taboo that can draw death threats.
It’s great to see these strong women, dedicated to overcoming social boundaries in their home country, and be nominated for the prestigious Nobel Peace prize this year.
It is a testament both to the strength of humans to overcome wrongs, as well as the transformative powers of the bicycle. I for one would love to see them awarded for their efforts.