When I was in Dinajpur, I realised that girls feel much safer there than in the city. Surrounded by forests on both sides of the road, girls commute from one place to another on their bicycles.
The sight of women cycling is not common in Dhaka, but it is a conventional practice for women from parts of North Bengal. They are taught to ride bicycles from a very young age, and they use it for commuting to school, college, madrasa, etc. It is part of their everyday lives.
"We want all boys and girls to be independent. A bicycle is just a vehicle, you don't have to be a man to ride it. I taught my daughter to ride a bicycle when she was a kid. If she wants to ride a motorcycle in the future, I will not stop her. I don't see any difference between bicycle and motorcycle except for the engine," said a father.
Another father said, "My daughter does housework, she goes to college by bicycle and to the market."
North Bengal experiences very cold winters and hot summers. But the weather does little to deter the women for riding their bicycles. The sight made me wonder if we will ever see a day where this is a common scene in every region of Bangladesh.