She Can Tri, in partnership with Free to Run, starts to train first women triathletes in Afghanistan
January 23, 2019
Be thankful for the hard times, for they have made you. –Zahra, She Can TriAthlete, Afghanistan
This year She Can Tri is taking on a whole new challenge. We are training Afghanistan’s first women triathletes. We have our sights on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2020, but we know the road to get there is going to be tough.
We believe in empowerment through athletics. Our athletes are racing for equality, because when women see what they can achieve in sports they start pushing boundaries in other areas of their life as well.
We have partnered up with Free to Run to get the Afghan She Can TriAthletes across the finish line. Free to Run works to support women and girls in conflict areas through adventure sports to build their physical, emotional, and social well being to develop them into community leaders so they can bring people together across cultural, ethnic, and religious lines.
Finding ways for females to safely and freely engage in outdoor activity allows them to change views about the roles that women could, and should, play in society.
Join the movement and race with us
Afghanistan’s She Can TriAthletes know reaching this goal will not be easy. Afghanistan is consistently rated one of the worst places to live if you are a woman. Not to mention that any participation in sports is seen outside the norm and resources for women are slim.
There are very few safe places to run, cycle, or swim, but with the help of She Can Tri and Free to Run, Afghanistan’s first women triathletes will show not only their country that women are capable, but also the entire world.
If you want to join our movement and race for equality, you too, can become a She Can TriAthlete. Please contact us if you would like to get involved.
Pushing boundaries across borders
Women in triathlon defy gender stereotypes and make inspiring role models, showing men and women as equals on and off the playing field.
She Can Tri will be training the Afghan women not just within their own borders but will be organizing training camps in the region. Showing women, that in sports, they can find common ground and lean on each other to work through their shared struggles.
Afghanistan, in particular, ranks among the lowest countries in the world for gender equality in terms of educational opportunities, life expectancy, health, human rights, and access to justice for women. It ranks at 169 out of 188 on the Gender Inequality Index (GII). In particular, women are underrepresented in public spaces. This starts at the basic level of women in communal public spaces, but goes all the way up to government.
Sports will not only push the boundaries of women in public spaces, but also keep these women physically fit and mentally healthy. Triathlon teaches participants relationship skills and determination, and studies have shown that women who participate in sports become leaders later in life.
Showing up on the playing field to level and stabilize it
The evidence is also clear that more gender-equal societies result in more stable environments. In societies with fewer opportunities for women there is a greater chance of conflict and the use of violence to respond to the conflict.
Furthermore, an important factor related to gender equality for security and development is women’s participation in positions of power, including in politics, peace discussions, and negotiations.
Including women in peace processes has a positive impact on the durability of peace agreements, preventing conflict from reoccurring.
Most Afghans want peace more than anything else, but if women are not represented in those peace negotiations their concerns will be left out.