Media Coverage for Women's Sport
“Take a moment to reflect on what comes to mind when you hear or read the word “Afghanistan.”Some common things that often come to people’s minds if they have never personally been to Afghanistan include war or violence, poverty, drugs, oppressed burqa-clad women and girls who are not allowed to attend school.
Who can blame the average world citizen for believing these to be the only representations of Afghanistan when that is all the media publicizes? While there is some truth to the stories that accompany these images in the news media, what if I told you that wonderful positive things are also happening in Afghanistan economically, politically and socially?
Among them the popularity of sports amongst children, especially young girls.
At the Ghazi Olympic stadium in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, there is no shortage of young and motivated athletes. Although during the Taliban regime of the 1990s the stadium was used as a site for public punishments and executions, in 2011 the US government funded the renovation of the stadium.
Today, the stadium is a site of hopes and dreams for Afghanistan’s athletes. Not only is there a national female boxing team, of which Shabnam Rahimi earned the title of being the first female boxer to bring home a gold medal last year, but there is also a national women’s football team that won its’ first international match against Pakistan.
If that is not enough to make you rethink your perceptions of Afghanistan or girls and women there, there is also a budding group of avid skateboarders at a Kabul-based non-governmental organization by the name of Skateistan. Children as young as five years old, 40% of which are girls, are kept off the streets by focussing on sports, skateboarding, education, and building friendships.”
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