Bicycle lessons, activity participation and empowerment

Angela van der Kloof, Jeroen Bastiaanssen, Karel Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the impact of bicycle lessons for immigrant and refugee women on bicycle use and activity participation. Especially non-Western immigrant and refugee women have been identified as one of the population groups most likely to experience accessibility problems and, subsequently, transport-related social exclusion. The bicycle offers considerable potential to increase the mobility of these women. Hence, in the Netherlands and elsewhere, governments and non-governmental organizations have set up bicycle lessons for immigrant and refugee women. The paper discusses the impacts of these lessons on their bicycle use and activity participation. It draws on a quantitative survey and a series of in-depth interviews among non-Western immigrant women in Amsterdam. The results show that the impacts of the bicycle lessons vary. Some participants use the bicycle for everyday purposes, while others still face constraints preventing bicycle use for regular errands. The impacts on activity participation are limited. At the same time, the lessons have substantially improved women's feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity participation
  • Amsterdam
  • Bicycle lessons
  • Empowerment
  • Gender

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Urban Studies


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