Local News Afghanistan, KABUL,AFGHANISTAN

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Kabul women’s sports club re-opens amid fears of Taliban regime


Future of women’s sports in Afghanistan looks bleak; women’s gyms becoming abandoned


STORY:   Instructors and students of Kabul’s Fighting Women’s Sports Club are in a quandary.

Their small club that used to teach around 60 students combat moves and other athletic activities before the Taliban took over the country in August this year, is on the verge of closing down.


The Club which had closed following after the Taliban take over because of fears over the Islamists attitude towards women and sports, opened its doors quietly this week, with barely 15 students turning up.


“The gym was going on and getting better with each passing day. Limited people were coming and people would do exercise but after  the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan (IEA,) it has dropped down considerably. We will lose all we earned during the last 20 years if nobody gives attention to this.  It’s at a standstill, and there are no developments. Very fewer people are coming and it’s almost the end,” said  Mehbooba Farahmarz, an athlete from Ghazni.


Students said they were fearful of coming to the club.


“ When I am coming here , this is very hard for myself because I’m a girl, and I cannot come easily. Its completely closely, because you know the institution cannot state clearly, cannot say openly like in the past .  Situation always make this kind of thing. So when I’m coming here , I have a lot of… maybe they (Taliban) come up and can say, you should not come up here because you are a woman and woman should stay at home,” said  Fatima Mohammadi   


In Afghanistan, women have long faced open hostility to their involvement in sport and in rural areas it is extremely rare for them to participate.

Even in cities, many women's leagues were quite rare, but they appear to be on the verge of extinction now, because women are currently not allowed to train in sports , and their future looks bleak.


The country's new sports chief Bashir Ahmad Rustamzai has said the Taliban would allow around 400 sports, but declined to say if women could participate in any of them.


The newly installed Taliban regime will forbid Afghan women from playing cricket and other sports where their bodies might be seen, a senior official told Australian public broadcaster SBS last month .

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