September 11 Reflections and Boxing (I swear there is a connection)

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Upon reflecting on September 11 many thoughts go through my mind. How horrible a day it was 11 years ago, how so many are scarred by the terrible events and how important it is to think about how the strength of our country and the rest of the free world was so palpable afterwards as if to say, “whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

When you have good in your heart… you can’t be defeated.

Female Boxers in Afghanistan

Sadaf Rahimi

Sadaf Rahimi, a female boxer from Afghanistan trains in hopes of going to the 2012 olympics.

The Boxing Girls of Kabul is a documentary about female boxers in Afghanistan. I read about these women a few years ago. It’s amazing that in a place where no women were allowed to play sport 11 years ago now train to fight in the Ghazi stadium where women used to be executed for things like adultery.

It all started when the Cooperation for Peace and Unity developed a boxing project for females, creating a team of 15 teenage Afghan girls. The idea was that ‘If you get involved in sport then you stay out of war’, says one of the girls. ‘In the past there was war between different peoples in Afghanistan, but a sport like boxing brings people together. It is not about fighting. It is a competition.’ And the women don’t just train to box, they are able to share ideas about ways of ending conflicts in the war-torn region.

It was a dream of the team that they would be represented in the London 2012 Olympics and surprisingly this dream was almost realized. Sadaf Rahimi was chosen to represent Afghanistan at the Olympic games.

“To get to the selection stage, she had to fend off social opprobrium, religious condemnation and even the disapproval of some of her own coaches who believed that women’s boxing shouldn’t go any further than the hobby stage. Rahimi won every one of those battles. Her path to London was but the latest leg of an extraordinary journey for Afghanistan’s women, who, little more than a decade ago, were forced to stay at home, denied the right to obtain an education, to work — and to play sports.”

Read more: http://lightbox.time.com/2012/07/23/afghan-female-boxer/#ixzz26BKbNTh2

In the end, Rahimi was not able to compete. The International Boxing Association felt that the Afghan training was not up to the standard of other countries and would therefore threaten her safety in the ring.  Even so, what an amazing accomplishment for a woman from an environment of substantial oppression and violence toward women to be at the brink of competing in in the most sought after games in the world.

As women we need to think about and protect our rights in our own country. Do not take them for granted, they can be lost so easily and when women are oppressed and treated so terribly as they are in countries like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the Congo etc… the whole country suffers. When women lose their rights and are maltreated our children, the future of our country suffer. They count on us women to take care of and educate them. Women have a right to education, healthcare, a fair and livable wage and to decide when we want to start a family. We are not a civilized nation if we do not treat our women with the respect, dignity and love they deserve.

According to http://www.feministezine.com these are the top ten countries to be a woman, the Unites States is NOT one of them. 

BEST COUNTRIES TO BE A WOMAN

Measures of well-being include life expectancy, education, purchasing power and standard of living. Not surprisingly, the top 10 countries are among the world’s wealthiest.

1. Iceland
2. Norway
3. Australia
4. Canada
5. Ireland
6. Sweden
7. Switzerland
8. Japan
9. Netherlands
10. France

The connection between September 11 and the countries where women are still fighting to overcome oppression and violence is that the attacks were bread from these same coutries. Women in these regions are treated so unbearably it’s hard to think about, read about or talk about. But it’s very important to know that we need to fight for the women in these countries and in our own country and communities. Where there are oppressed women there is extreme violence and human rights issues that breeds terrorism. The people in these countries are so emotionally, physically and mentally battered that they would sacrifice their lives to kill over 3,000 innocent people.

If women in a country like Afghanistan are able to stand up for themselves, despite all of the oppression and violence toward them then what are we waiting for!? Common ladies…., prove to me that you too are fighters! 

Do you have a story about how you fought for your rights as a woman? If so I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time… stay strong, beautiful and keep those gloves on, cuz this fight ain’t over…

xo,

Hil

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