Skateboarding Offers Opportunity For Girls in Afghanistan

Skateistan is a non-profit that connects youth and education through skateboarding in Kabul, Afghanistan, having now expanded to Cambodia and South Africa since its inception in 2007. What is striking is that over 40% of the students in Kabul are female; partly in due to them being forbidden to ride bicycles, therefore skateboarding has become the number one sport for women.

Study & skate

Photo from www.skateistan.org

According to their site, “The non-profit skateboarding charity has constructed the two largest indoor sport facilities in Afghanistan, and hosts the largest female sporting organization (composed of female skateboarders). Skateistan believes that when youth come together to skateboard and play, they forge bonds that transcend social barriers.”

Outdoor skating

Photo from www.skateistan.org

Skateistan is a program providing “new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment.” What an amazing opportunity for young girls to develop skills and cultivate relationships they deem important in a culture where they are typically confined to home life duties. The initial attraction is the skate board, however, after obtaining a diverse skill set and building a foundation of support, they choose to stay in the program, often times to mentor others.

Shopwork

Photo from www.skateistan.org

Many of these young girls would be working on the street to support their families along with their peers if it weren’t for Skateistan opening its doors to youth in Kabul. “There are now over 750 skateboarders in Afghanistan – and nearly half of them are girls. How did this even happen? In a place where the female literacy rate is only 13%, where girls access to education, let alone sports, is barely existent… The Skateistan girls are doing it all. Watch this video and learn the incredible story of skateboarding in Afghanistan.”

For more information on Skateistan, watch The State of Skate:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: LYNETTE IVERSONLynette Iverson

I am a born and raised California girl who grew up in Los Angeles. After graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in sunny San Diego, I planted roots with my new husband and French Bulldog puppy.  I hold a Master’s in Education and have spent a majority of my professional career in Higher Education. I enjoy traveling, learning, cooking, wine, Pilates, attending concerts and reading for both my book clubs.

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