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Afghan Girls Given a Sporting Chance, and Take It

In many areas of Afghanistan, women’s participation in sports is becoming the rule rather than the exception. A growing number of professional and amateur Afghan female athletes are representing Afghanistan around the world.

This month, Afghanistan’s National Women’s Soccer Team will play their first ever international match abroad, against their Pakistani counterparts in Islamabad. The squad includes 20 players and two female coaches. Pakistan created a women's soccer federation in 2004 and now has women taking part in boxing, volleyball, basketball and Tae Kwon Do among other sports.

Many afternoons you can find female boxers in their late teens dealing the stereotypes of Afghan women a knock out blow during their practices at the Kabul Sports Stadium gym.

The girls are supported by an NGO called, Co-operation for Peace and Unity. NGO representative Kanishka Nawabi hopes that this and other clinics will teach women to be more confident. "Afghanistan has been through a very violent conflict, and sport was not excluded from this process. What we are trying to do is to promote peace for this group, as a role model for society. Yes they do boxing, but not for the sake of violence."

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