Africa

The Liberian bikers who wear pink to stop getting robbed

Motorcycle taxis Image copyright Ricci Shryock

Female motorcycle taxi drivers in Liberia were fed up with being robbed. So they formed a collective, called it the Pink Panthers and donned bright helmets and jackets which made sure they were easy to spot.

Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption Dearest Coleman was working as a motorcycle taxi driver when passengers directed her into an ambush. When she didn't hand over her keys, the thieves beat her up and stole her bike.
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption So she now has to rent her bike. It costs 500 Liberian dollars (US$6; £4) each day. She aims to own her own bike again in the future.
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption Ms Coleman has been working as a motorcycle taxi driver for over five years. They are used by lots of people to get around Monrovia. Her customers can be commuters, schoolchildren and shoppers.
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption She works from 5:00 to 21:00 most days. That doesn't leave much time for her to spend time with her children.
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption With nine other women, she formed the Pink Panther women's motorbike taxi collective in January.
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption At first they found women were hesitant to hire a female taxi driver.
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption Female motorcyclists are almost unheard of in Monrovia, says Henrietta Tolbert from the Angie Brooks International Centre for Women's Empowerment. They provided the striking pink helmets.
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption Ms Coleman says she still doesn't feel safe. "We have a whole lot of struggle, a whole lot of challenges."
Image copyright Ricci Shryock
Image caption But she says she wants more women to join the collective.