Follow the Women harnesses girl power worldwide

Reading, Berkshire-3 June 2009-Reading-based international peace organisation and charity, Follow the Women today announced the route for its fifth ’Pedal for Peace’ to promote peace in the Middle East. Applications are now open for up to 300 women from around the globe to once again, cycle from Beirut through, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine to raise awareness of the region; its beauty and its problems. The adventure begins in October 2009, and is the brain child of 2001 European Woman of the Year, Detta Regan, who founded the Organisation. Follow the Women is now comprised of approximately 1500 ordinary women, from 40 different countries.

Reading-based international youth worker and CEO of Follow the Women, Detta Regan explained, "Women riding bicycles in the Middle East in not exactly common place. So, our large, female-only group draws a great deal of attention. Many of the riders will come from Europe and the Middle East, but there will be teams from the United States, Canada, South Africa, Japan, Bulgaria, Serbia and Australia. I am always thrilled that we get so many women from so many different countries joining us, and that we continue to garner support in the Middle East at the highest level."

Indeed, Detta counts Queen Rania of Jordan, the First Lady of Syria, Asma Al Assad, Bahia Hariri, MP of Lebanon to name but a few, among the supporters. The ride is designed to raise awareness of how the continued violence in the Middle East blights the lives of women and children who often suffer the worst consequences of the painfully slow pace of the peace process. By promoting bicycles as vehicles of peace and freedom of movement Detta says she wants to inspire and empower women to take an active role in the peace process.

The organisation is currently seeking sponsorship for the fifth annual Pedal for Peace. A registered charity, Follow the Women also undertakes community projects in the Middle East, such as building playgrounds in areas suffering as a result of conflict and sending First Aid, clothing and food supplies into Gaza.