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In Case You Missed It: Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team Takes the Court in Kabul
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.
Farhat Popal serves as Senior Program Manager, Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Farhat leads the WE Lead program and 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.Full Bio
Why WE Lead: The Day Mrs. Laura Bush Visited Us in Amman
WE Lead Scholar Ruba Rihani writes about a recent visit by President and Mrs. Bush to her nonprofit organization in Amman, Jordan that provides leadership and vocational training to Jordanian women and Syrian refugees.
A Dad’s Perspective on Empowering Girls
Fighting for women's empowerment shouldn’t be a woman’s struggle alone. Support from male allies is needed, and that support begins with dads and father figures.
Conversations With Afghan Women
Niloofar Rahmani, the first female Afghan fighter pilot after the fall of the Taliban, and Roya Rahmani, the first female ambassador to the U.S. from Afghanistan, share their stories.