BEIRUT: Although motorcycling is traditionally considered a men’s sport, women have been proving their essential participation in it through recent history.
The Litas is an international motorcycle community for women. It was first initiated in the United States by Jessica Haggett and currently operates in 33 worldwide networks.
The first Arab Country to join this community was Dubai, followed by Lebanon, and more recently Saudi Arabia.
Annie Bader, Nissa Hajj, and Lara Tarabay are the three Lebanese women who founded The Litas Lebanon earlier this year.
“Our fast-growing family is our greatest achievement, and the fact that we are uniting women for a passionate cause is a dream come true,” Bader told Annahar.
The launching event highlighted the number of women motorcyclists all over the world, which sums up to 14,000 women bikers according to The Litas statistics.
“All members share the same passion and the same objective: empowering women in this sport,” Bader told Annahar.
Although each chapter operates separately, global members are connected and registered on the official website of The Litas.
Their activities include several events, awareness campaigns that address youth on the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction, and professional training programs that aim to spread motorcycling skills.
Events are mainly scheduled around international occasions and holidays such as Women’s International Day.
“We believe that women are capable of breaking the set norms; one way to do so is through supporting them and encouraging them to ride their bikes,” Bader added.
Although a number of clubs accept women motorcyclists, The Litas remains the first international women-only club.
The club is also free of charge and accept all types of legally registered motorcycles including Harley Davidson, scooters, speed bikes, and motor cross.
“Our main goal is to empower women and raise awareness on road safety,” Bader told Annahar.
The founders shared with NAYA some of the challenges they face.
“The problem isn’t about the culture,” Bader explained, “but how women perceive themselves and their ability to reach their goals.”
They also added that this sport requires specific tracks and roads that aid in facilitating its practice and increasing the number of participants. Unequipped roads are accordingly, another major challenge they face.
As for the club’s future plans, The Litas is currently preparing for a camping event in September and several awareness sessions to be held in different areas of the country.
Annie Bader, Nissa Hajj, and Lara Tarabay are also the chairpersons of the women's committee in the Lebanese Motorcycle Club, in which they coordinately work with the government.
Welcome to “Naya,” the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations. Naya Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.firstname.lastname@example.org
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