Afghan girls take up Chinese martial arts to combat prejudice

World Today

Afghan girls take up Chinese martial arts to combat prejudice

Teenage girls in Afghanistan are fighting prejudice with Chinese martial arts. But they face many obstacles, including a culture that discourages females from competing in contact sports.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.

Afghan girls take up Chinese martial arts to combat prejudice

Afghan girls take up Chinese martial arts to combat prejudice

Teenage girls in Afghanistan are fighting prejudice with Chinese martial arts. But they face many obstacles, including a culture that discourages females from competing in contact sports. CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.

The Chinese martial art Wushu has found an unlikely home in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Simi Azimi founded a Wushu club for girls in the Afghan capital. Azimi moved to Afghanistan from Iran where she took up the sport and won several competitions.

“My ambition is to see my female students take part in international matches and win medals for their country,” Azimi said.

When the students aren’t practicing at the club, they hike up a mountain outside Kabul and punch and kick their way through training sessions.

Azimi’s students are mostly Shia Muslims, a group that has been targeted by ISIL militants.

“The biggest challenge we are facing is the insecurity in our country,” Zahra Timori, a student said.

And although they are allowed to represent their country in international competitions, finding support in Afghanistan’s conservative society is a challenge.

“There are people who might oppose women improving themselves, but I love to fight against such stupidity and go ahead,” Azimi says.