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56.000 kilometres on a bike for Girls’ Rights

Laurent Simon goes across the world in his bicycle to spread a supportive message for Girl's Rights.

Laurent Simon goes across the world in his bicycle to spread a supportive message for Girls’ Rights, as a vulnerable sector because their gender and age. Simon is French, he is 40 years old and he begin his journey in 2012, going through more than 56.000 kilometers until this date and visiting 12 countries, among them Bolivia. This week, Simon arrived to Santa Cruz to proclaim his cause.

‘The thing that motives me to go around the world, is a 12 years old boy’s dream. It was my dream and I joined the cause on the fight for the rights of those who cannot speak, the girls of the world, who are at higher risk to be abused, of being victims of male chauvinism’s violence, among other risk´, said the cyclist.

The idea is to give girls more visibility and for that matter he joined Plan International to spread his message.

Simon explains that those countries he visits usually have the highest rates on girls’ violence, in a lot of aspects: education, sexual and reproductive rights and violence subjects, among other topics. His stops come with workshops or conferences to create awareness about the minors’ situation in those cities.

Why the bicycle?
For this French person, the bicycle is a transport that allows him to connect with the village he visits. ‘It wouldn’t be the same if it was by car or motorbike; it’s necessary to create an impact and when people see a foreigner riding a bike with a flag and lots of luggage, they wonder what is it about…’, he told. He carries 50 kilos of luggage with him.

Education on gender equality
The main obstacle is the sexist culture itself, according to the interviewee. The girls are prohibited to be educated in those communities where go to school is a luxury; the boy goes to school while the girl stays at home and does all the housework.

Now that Simon is in Santa Cruz, Plan Internacional is doing some activities anticipating the Girl International Day (11th October).