Another one of CPAU’s projects involves young girls and women in Afghanistan, fighting for peace! The idea is to get them involved in sports in order to stay out of war. Sports bring people together.
The symbolism of boxing is apparent, but it is not about violence or fighting, it is about building self-confidence and competing for achieving goals, challenging stereotypes in the society, dreaming and believing in a different future.
CPAU sees training women to box as a good way to affect culture. Kanishka Nawabi, at CPAU, says that the women set a good example, because they box for sport and for peace, not for violence. ‘Afghanistan has been through a very violent conflict and sport was not separated from this process. What we are trying to do is to support and encourage peace for this group, as a cultural model. Yes, these women box, but not for violence!’ In the Kabul Girls Boxing Team, women from all parts of Afghanistan are brought together. But boxing is not the only thing that the women do when they get together. They also discuss ways to end conflicts without violence. By boxing together, they are fighting to end war. CPAU sees the team as an important example of Afghan hopes for a peaceful future, and therefore, calls this project Fighting for Peace.
Shabnam is a 17-year-old girl. She was one of the first Afghan girls that ever participated in an international boxing tournament. ‘I wanted to show a different picture of Afghanistan to the rest of the world’, she said. ‘I dream of participating in the Olympic Games 2012 in London’.
Razia is a 21-year-old woman. She is studying political science and international relations. She is one of the best ‘heavy weight’ women boxers in Afghanistan. Her dream is to become World Champion in boxing! ‘After that I want to become Foreign Minister and then President in Afghanistan’, she said.