An Afghan “voice for voiceless sisters”

Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Mark Sappenfield

“Last summer, Khalida Popal knew the Taliban were winning in Afghanistan. But she hoped Kabul might hold. As program director of the Afghan women’s national soccer team, she hoped ‘my girls’ had begun to make plans to leave. It had been 10 years since Ms. Popal herself had fled, physically attacked at gunpoint for daring to play soccer and not be ashamed of it. But this was different. The players who had remained had continued to speak out against the Taliban. Western powers had held them up as a model of a new Afghanistan. Now, ‘all of a sudden, the enemy was outside their door,’ she says. Ms. Popal’s story could so easily be one more example of the failed promise of equal rights for Afghan women — herself a refugee in Denmark, her team in danger of terrible retribution.” (09/06/22)