For a country that has had its gender inequities become a global issue, India is seeing some change toward a more empowered position for women in parts of its culture. One sign that women are enjoying new and increased freedoms is the proliferation of female biker gangs. Over the last four years, women’s participation in biker gangs has more than doubled, The Telegraph reports. An increasing number of women are choosing to ride motorcycles as drivers — not simply as passengers on a bike being driven by a man. The reasons are as varied as the women themselves, but many find the experience nothing short of empowering. “It’s a symbol of empowerment and liberty for me,” Vaishali More, 48, said in an interview. More, who lives in the city of Vizag, learned to ride a motorcycle at the age of 18, while in college. Like others whom The Telegraph spoke with, she points out that there’s nothing about riding a motorcycle that would preclude a woman from doing so. “I have not had one single bad experience to date,” More said. “Riding a bike does not require any extra muscle or testosterone power,” Aparna Bandodkar, another biker, pointed out. She learned to ride at age 13.
One factor that has discouraged women from joining mix-gender gangs is that there’s a feeling of pressure to perform, some women said. And until recently, there was little in the way of mentorship for women who wanted to be bikers. That is all changing now — and in cool fashion. All sorts of women-only biker gangs have popped up and they boast hip names like the Lady Bikers, Lady Riders, Hop on Gurls, Biking Queens, REgals and Bikerni (the term for a female biker in Hindi).
Read the full story at The Telegraph.