The League of American Bicyclists has a program focused on bike advocacy by women, for women, called Women Bike. Women Bike has been funding organizations doing advocacy, and this report, "Engaging More Women in Bicycling," comes from a grant recipient, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA).
This report, like many of Women Bike's toolkits, are made for advocates looking to encourage and increase ridership among women.
One of the foundations of this report, synthesized from 570 survey respondents, is that there is no such thing as a homogeneous group of "women." The report seems to embrace the intersections and complexities of our identities- whether you're a woman, mother, sister, woman of color, trans woman, poor, rich, old, young, etc. All women are underrepresented in cycling, but lumping us all into one group and applying one approach to alleviate the gender gap is clumsy. And ineffective.
We can finally say we are at this point in advocacy where we are not asking "Why include women?" but, "How do we include women?" and, "Which women are we including?"
This report has tools on how to set goals, with a example, and cultivating partnerships to make outreach more effective, as well as tips on how to evaluate programs. Interspersed are profiles from WABA's Roll Model program, which are page-long interviews with "bike mentors." Perhaps my favorite takeaway from the report is the reinforcement that encouragement and peer support are integral in developing advocates and inspiring confidence in women. Because we all have complex identities, it can be so powerful have a personal word of encouragement or advice from a peer.
I encourage you to read the report, and please share any resources on advocating for more women on bikes in the comments below.
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