It’s hard enough to be a bike commuter in the Philippines with the lack of biking infrastructures and how opposed the Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is to the installment of temporary bike lanes despite the lack of mass transportation options under the quarantine. But if you’re a woman, you have to deal with possibly getting catcalled while you’re pedalling. When we talk about pushing for bike culture, we must also review policies against street harassment.
We've posted here about how our women bikers feel unsafe not only from the lack of proper biking infra but also from…
To address this, women cyclists group Padyak Pinay started a project that exposes how bad it has gotten in the metro. They launched an interactive map called “Cyclist Stories on Catcalling.” Here, cyclists can share their stories and mark the places where they got catcalled. Not only will this help others avoid possibly dangerous routes—the group also hopes that the project can shed light on the importance of making the streets safer. It aims not to discourage women cyclists but to empower them.
Padyak Pinay, which believes that an increase in the number of women bikers signifies that a city is safe and healthy, is in support of Senator Pia Cayetano’s Safe Pathways Act (SBN 1582 under Committee Report 101). For World Bicycle Day on June 3, Sen. Cayetano delivered her sponsorship speech for the bill that calls to establish a network of bicycle lanes throughout the country. “Sustainable transportation is now part of the new normal, and we welcome this change in people’s mindset. But we cannot simply put cyclists and pedestrians on the road without ensuring their safety. We need to be able to support them with the right infrastructure, which we sadly lack in our car-centric streets,” she said.
#WorldBicycleDay update from the Senate! Watch my sponsorship speech on the Safe Pathways Act (SBN 1582 under Committee…
She concluded the speech by addressing President Rodrigo Duterte. She urged, “Mr. President, the time is now. This crisis presents us with opportunities we must take now. We can seize the moment and institutionalize policy changes that will leave our children with cleaner air, a healthier future with bike lanes, pedestrian lanes, and emergency pathways.”
If the bill gets passed, we hope that it doesn’t just equate transportation safety with infrastructure developments but also puts up social safeguards against gender-based harassment as well.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
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