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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
Women’s Economic Participation in Afghanistan
WE Lead Scholar Shahnaz Nasr shares how she is fostering economic empowerment for women in Afghanistan.
Dreamer to Achiever
In Egypt, it was not common for women to run or play sports in public. 2013 WE Lead Scholar Mariz Doss worked to change that perception.
WE Lead Graduation
The inaugural class of WE Lead scholars graduated from the 5-month program on March 21. WE Lead seeks to empower and equip women to become more effective leaders and to advance economic opportunity in their communities and countries.
Q&A with WE Lead Scholar Nadia Behboodi
Nadia Behboodi, a 2019 WE Lead Scholar from Afghanistan, is CEO of the Afghan Women’s Organization for Research, Learning, and Development. She volunteers with Seeds of Change, a network of professional women and men standing for female leadership at all levels, and manages Afghanistan’s first circle of the Lean In network, which promotes female empowerment.