"We meet at strategic points and ride on Sundays on Bogotá's ciclovía or at the municipal level. We ride for between 30 and 50 kilometers and also do basic mechanics workshops," says Ángela Sánchez, founder of Curvas en Bici.
"These meetings have led to a support network and every time something happens; a robbery, an abuse, or some kind of violence, we report it among ourselves and as a community we give each other support before activating the emergency services," says Sanchez, 27 years old. This initiative currently has 450 registered women from 20 localities in Bogotá.
In response to the demands of these women and others, the local government is seeking to implement a public policy on bicycles with goals for 2039.
"We agreed with the different entities of the Mayor's Office, with the private sector and with academia, to work on five concrete objectives: more road safety, more personal safety, more and better trips by bicycle and more bicycles for everyone. We want to make the bicycle a method and a mechanism to have a more inclusive society. This, of course, requires a series of actions and budgets aimed at improving conditions for our women," says Nicolás Estupiñán, Bogotá's Secretary of Mobility.
One of the goals of Bogotá's public bicycle policy is to achieve parity of trips with the participation of the communities themselves and other organizations, and to go from 24% to 50% of trips made by women.
Bogota's initiative is one of five cities being developed through the Global Project on Urban Governance for Health of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). In this project, the mayors of Bogota (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), Khulna (Bangladesh), Douala (Cameroon) and Tunis (Tunisia) committed to address informal settlements, basic public services and social cohesion through intersectoral collaboration and participatory urban governance for health and well-being, promoting social innovations and dialogues at the local level.