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Afghan girls get tough to beat the gender barriers

A group of teenage girls are training in boxing, which they think will in turn help break down some of the gender barriers that Afghanistan has.

The boxers belong to a new generation of Afghan youth, challenging stereotypes that persist five years after the fall of the Taliban. They train in a room in Kabul’s main sports stadium, a venue for public executions during Taliban rule in the late 1990s.

Boxing is helping them gain confidence and self-respect, the girls say. Their goal: to be Afghanistan’s first women’s boxing team.

I think this is pretty cool. It’s awesome to see a group of teenage girls wanting to make a change and actually doing something about it. They aren’t just waiting for the change to come to them! They discuss how sports isn’t encouraged for girls and women, because it’s supposedly not good for them.

“Many people are trying to stop us from participating in sports by saying it is not good for women,” said 15-year-old Shabnam, who uses only one name. “But I think if you are interested in doing something, you should avoid listening to what people think about you. Sports is a way out of violence for Afghanistan.”

Seems like a confident, determined group of teenage girls about to make a difference!

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