25 February 2014

Women, Bikes And Equality

Yesterday I wrote about a rather curious phenomenon:  the cities and countries with the strongest cycling cultures aren't necessarily the ones with weather and terrain most people believe are best for cycling.  As examples, I cited Boston, New York, San Francisco and Portland in the US and such European locales as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Last week, I wrote about the relationship between the two major bike booms (1890s-early 1900s and 1970s) and the women's rights movements of those periods.

From Brain Pickings

Perhaps it's serendipitous that I came across a United Nations Development Programme Report which ranked countries, among other things, in gender equality. Tell me whether you are surprised to see these countries in the Top 10 (as of 2012): 

1. Netherlands 
2. Sweden 
3. (tie) Denmark 
3. (tie) Switzerland 
5. Norway 
6. Finland 
7. Germany 
8. Slovenia 
9. France 

After seeing that, I did a bit of research. (OK, I spent a few minutes on Google.) I found a number of reports that rank Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Washington DC and Madison, Wisconsin among the best US cities for gender equality.

Is it a coincidence that the countries and cities in which cycling and cyclists are most mainstream are also the ones where a woman has the best chance to get a good education, paid what she's worth and the health care she needs?

Just askin'.

1 comment:

  1. We should be cautious about confusing correlation with causation. Still, as in "safety in numbers," the correlation is intriguing.