In the United States, women account for only a quarter of bike trips. There are many possible factors for the discrepancy: the lack of bike infrastructure, social pressures during adolescence, and complex trip patterns play a role. But one of the big things keeping women out of the saddle is that when they bike they're harassed. All the time.
Cat calls, patronizing enjoinders to "smile," and more aggressive forms of harassment can make walking or biking uncomfortable or threatening. Katie Matchett, an urban planner who writes about pedestrian issues at Where the Sidewalk Starts, still recalls getting harassed on the streets of San Diego as she was beginning her career 20 years ago. She says it's up to everyone -- men and women -- to combat it.