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Jan 05, 2012
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Afghan Girls Take to the Gym to Practice Boxing in Defiance of Taliban Threats

#3262 | 02:01
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

Following are excerpts from a report on female boxers in Afghanistan, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on January 6, 2012:

Reporter: These girls undergo intensive training in this modestly equipped gym. The broken mirrors, dusty floors, and threats from the Taliban have not discouraged Shaban or her younger sister Sadaf from practicing female boxing, their preferred sport.

Female boxer: I have to have great success in the world of boxing, and to win a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, for the glory of my country. This gym was opened four years ago, and it serves 25 girls from various regions in Afghanistan.

Trainer: We demand that the Afghan government, businessmen, and private companies support our national women's boxing teams, as well as other sports.

Reporter: A new generation of Afghan girls is challenging the conventional image of the Afghan woman, whom the Taliban tried to hide behind the burqa. Their aspirations drove them to train in gyms, some of them clandestine, far from the eyes of the Taliban. The [female boxers] are not allowed treatment by male doctors, and so, many of them were denied treatment. In addition, some of them were flogged. Today, there are many gyms that train girls in the art of boxing, in a country still suffering from the conflict. This makes self-defense skills all the more important.


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