Some consist of little more than a young woman with a business card and a desk, as one insider described the women’s version of cricket, Afghanistan’s most popular game. Others, like women’s soccer, have managed to field a few teams for practices and training sessions but have not played an international match in years.
Even the relatively few encouraging stories, like women’s taekwondo, one of the sports that may see an Afghan woman sent to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, are at best qualified successes. Afghanistan’s strongest hope for a female taekwondo medalist, Somaya Ghulami, 23, actually lives in Iran and commutes to practice sessions here. She said she would never be able to compete if she had to live in her own country.
It is a conspicuous failure for Western efforts to improve the lives of Afghan women. With few exceptions, the sports programs have become riddled with corruption and been undermined by conservative Afghans who have never liked the idea of young women on sports fields."
Read article by Rod Nordland from The New York Times.