2017: Cycling for women’s rights
I grew up in a world where I was denied my basic human rights. In fact, I did not even know I had rights.
I know what it means to live trapped in an abusive environment, in fear of powerful people controlling your very existence. I know what it’s like to beat the streets begging for enough money to eat that night, of living hand to mouth, from day to day, unable to envision anything else for your future. I was deprived of an education that should be the right of every child. I suffered through every childhood sickness without ever seeing a doctor or receiving medical care. I know what it feels like to be trafficked from country to country, stranger to stranger, without parents to protect me, never knowing where and under whose care I would end up. I know what it is to have no home. To be the “immigrant” in every country because I had no country of my own. I know what it means to be seen as a second class citizen because I was born a woman. To believe my only purpose on this planet was to be a slave to the whims of men. That my sex existed to please the man, to shut up, cook, clean and bear him babies. I know what it means to be silenced for speaking the truth. To be beaten and punished for having my own mind, for wanting to pursue my dreams, for being myself. I know what it is like to grow up in a world without rights, without choices and only a bleak vision of a future without hope or dreams.
Today, I am free to do what I like and go where I please. I have all those rights that were once denied me. Millions of women around the world do not. I empathize with those women, because I know their suffering intimately. I am living in freedom while they are still denied theirs. Historically, the bicycle has always been a symbol of freedom and emancipation to women and so this year, I am dedicating all my rides and races to my sisters around the world who are not yet free and who continue to live without their basic human rights. Listed below are some of the organisations that are doing much to help these women around the world. If you feel like I do about any of these causes, please donate towards the wonderful work these NGOs are doing. They need all the help we can give them.
We Are Woman
An official partner of the Women’s March on Washington that took place on Jan 21, 2017, We Are Woman is a national advocacy group dedicated to protecting human rights and improving the lives of women and families through collaboration, advocacy, education and outreach by building a network of community members, volunteer agencies, grassroots and larger organizations that work together as a unified force for positive change.
An army of women who are united and empowered to advise, tutor and mentor disadvantaged adolescent girls in our communities, both domestic and abroad by providing positive reinforcement and guidance in education and health related issues.
Women for Women
In countries affected by conflict and war, Women for Women International supports the most marginalized women to earn and save money, improve health and well-being, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect to networks for support. By utilizing skills, knowledge, and resources, she is able to create sustainable change for herself, her family, and community.
Women’s Reproductive Health:
International Women’s Health Coalition
IWHC advances the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and young people, particularly adolescent girls, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Each year in the developing world, an estimated 74 million unintended pregnancies occur due to a lack of contraceptive access or contraception failing. Of these unintended pregnancies, 36 million end in abortion, more than half of which are unsafe.
These unsafe abortions kill up to 44,000 women every year, and cause serious illness and long-term disability for 8 million more.
Without adequate access to contraception, women are often unable to access an education, or have a career. Many find it very difficult to look after their large families without adding another to their numbers. Many live in extreme poverty.
We exist to empower women and men to have children by choice, not chance. In 37 countries around the world our courageous and passionate teams are going to the last mile to help millions of women access the contraception and safe abortions they need to take greater control of their lives.
MADRE partners with grassroots women’s groups on the frontlines of war, disaster and their aftermath. Together, we meet urgent needs and build women’s capacity to create positive social change.
Refugees are people just like you. The difference is they have been forced to flee their homes.
The numbers of people fleeing their home, their country, has accelerated to a level never seen before. In the past five years no fewer than 15 conflicts – some new, some old – have brought unspeakable tragedy and misery to millions across the world.
UNHCR has responded. We have stretched our resources to help more people than ever before. From Syria to Central African Republic, Iraq to South Sudan, we are working around the clock to extend our protection and lifesaving aid to millions.
Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network
GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
Human Trafficking and Slavery
Not For Sale Campaign
Partnering with local experts, community leaders, and business people to understand the root causes of slavery in a region. We provide food, shelter, education, and healthcare to people affected by modern slavery.
Hope for Justice
Rescuing, restoring and reforming victims
Catching online predators