Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Female runner among Afghanistan’s four Olympic hopefuls

Out of a total of four athletes, Mahboba Ahdyar, 19, is the only woman slated to represent Afghanistan in the upcoming Beijing Olympics, Reuters reported Monday. Competing, according to Ahdyar, will not be about winning, but instead about pride and proving herself as an Afghan woman.

Girls were banned from playing outdoors or participating in sports under Taliban rule and many Afghans still remain hostile towards female participation in athletics.

“Some people in our society are against sport for women,” said Ahdyar. “They want us only to stay at home, but I disagree with them. God gave the same rights to men and women, that is why I don’t care what they say.” She also said that competing will be for her benefit and also for “the benefit of all young people.”

Ahdyar plans on continuing to wear her headscarf while racing in China because it is a “symbol of Muslim women.”

For the full article, click here.


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