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In Case You Missed It: Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team Takes the Court in Kabul

October 21, 2016 2 minute Read by Farhat Popal

October 18th marked the beginning of the annual wheelchair basketball season for women with disabilities in Kabul, Afghanistan. For the last five years, the International Committee of the Red Cross has been putting on these tournaments as a way to help men and women with disabilities get back on their feet. For Afghan women, this is not only sport – it leads to empowerment and confidence. In the words of one female athlete, Nilofar, "I will continue working here and playing basketball. Even if I feel I can't carry on, I won't give up. I'll encourage and train other disabled girls to do sport, because they can make changes to their lives too. They have the same rights as any other person." Hers is a story of resilience, like so many other Afghan women who are fighting hardship with grace and determination.

To learn more about Afghan women using sport to transform their lives and the lives of others, please see the story of Kobra Dastgirzada in We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope by the Bush Institute. For more on the work of the Bush Institute in amplifying Afghan women’s voices, check out the Afghan Women’s Project.


Author

Farhat Popal
Farhat Popal

Farhat Popal serves as the Manager of the Women’s Initiative Fellowship and the Afghan Women’s Project at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Farhat is responsible for research and programmatic efforts that empower women worldwide to lead in their communities and countries.

Farhat studied Political Science/International Relations and History of the Near East at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the Bush Institute, she worked on human rights programs in Afghanistan and Central Asia at the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in Washington, DC, and evaluated reconstruction projects in Afghanistan with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. While with SIGAR, she spent considerable time conducting field work at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. In addition to her international work, Farhat evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of local government programs at the City of San Diego and City of Oakland’s Offices of the City Auditor.

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