At a time when women in Afghanistan are living under oppression, not allowed to even pursue secondary education, Berlin-based boxer Sadia Bromand is “fighting” for her compatriots by participating in boxing events with the ultimate goal of winning a medal for her country at the Olympics.
Sadia sought asylum in Germany, where she already had her brothers and friends, and moved to Berlin over three years ago.
For women, life in Afghanistan has become a nightmare since the Taliban came to power in 2021. The Taliban government has banned women`s sports, labelling them as “un-Islamic”. It has also banned women from pursuing secondary and university education.
“I want to reach the final and go for the gold. This fight is not only for me but for all the Afghani girls back home,” said Sadia, who is the lone boxer from Afghanistan in the ongoing Women`s World Championships.
“As you know, since the Taliban took over, women haven`t gotten any rights to go to school or let alone do any sports so this fight is basically for them and the gold will be for them.”
Also Read: International Women`s Day 2023: Afghanistan is world`s most repressive country for women, says United Nations
The featherweight boxer started her career as a sprinter before she took up boxing.
“My long-term goal is to play at the Olympics and get a medal.”
Sadia is currently studying journalism. She worked in the sports division of a women`s TV channel in Afghanistan, which made her an easy target under the new Taliban regime.
“The reason why I left Afghanistan is first because of the Taliban and the second reason is that I was also a journalist in Afghanistan and female journalism is pretty much you could say banned in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban, if they had come over before I left, they would have definitely harmed me because I am a journalist.”
Despite not getting any support from her country, Sadia wants to continue boxing for Afghanistan.
“I am an Afghan, I was born there, studied there, and trained as a boxer in Afghanistan. Because there are no rights now for Afghan women to play or study, I want to show this support and dedicate this fight to them.”
Sadia will face Turkey`s Turhan Elif Nur in her opening bout on Sunday.
“After I joined the Afghan national boxing team, a lot of the girls were inspired to follow my footsteps, we had a full team but unfortunately the Taliban took over, and then just everyone stopped training.
“The only reason I can fight and I`m participating in this tournament is because I`m German-based. If I was in Afghanistan I wouldn`t have this opportunity right now.”