Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 19/09/2019. Tags: Teachers Parenting
In Ireland, fewer than one in 250 girls cycle to school each day.
Green-Schools launched its latest campaign ‘#andshecycles’ on Thursday September 19, in the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin. #andshecycles focuses on encouraging young women – particularly teenagers – to cycle while recognising and discussing the reasons why they feel that cycling is not for them.
Why are young women avoiding the bike as a means of transport? Research undertaken by Green-Schools, including nationwide focus groups with secondary school students, revealed that notwithstanding the usual concerns facing every cyclist (lack of cycle lanes, safety concerns) young women were also dealing with social issues such as peer pressure; harassment on the roads from drivers and young men; and a general perception of cycling as “uncool”. #andshecycles hopes to change and challenge these issues and perceptions through video, social media and continued liaison with students. Green-Schools hopes that by discussing and dissecting the reasons why young women are not cycling, we can highlight the positives, the ways to overcome and, through acknowledgement, help those students who might otherwise cycle to continue to do so or begin to do so in the future.
The event showcased portraits taken by photographer Ste Murray of four young women with their bikes. The exhibition followed by the premiere of the #andshecycles campaign video and a panel discussion chaired by RTÉ 2FM DJ Tara Stewart with International Irish Cyclist and new UCD student Lara Gillespie; Leaving Certificate student Aislinn McDaid; Green-Schools Travel Officer Caitriona Buggle; and Health Services Research professor, Dr. Catherine Darker.
Jane Hackett is the manager of the Green-Schools Travel Programme: “We have been working with schools around the country to increase cycling numbers for over ten years. Because of this work we realised that although teen girls wanted to cycle the numbers weren’t increasing at the same levels as their male counterparts. So we asked why, and #andshecycles was born.”
Following the Dublin launch Green-Schools plans to host similar events around Ireland with Green-Schools Travel Staff and secondary school students.
Source: An Taisce#andshecycles5: Group photo: Leo von Buenau; Maedhbh Ní Chumhaill; Emily Longworth and Kiki Needham photographed with their bikes in Dublin by Ste Murray for the Green-Schools #andshecycles campaign