THE GOOD FIGHT

Photos: Fearless teenage girls are taking up boxing in Pakistan

Going to a boxing club is an act of bravery for girls in Pakistan, where sexual harassment plagues women’s sports. But a few defiant young women are jumping into the ring anyway.

At a boxing camp in Karachi’s Pak Shaheen Boxing Club, roughly a dozen girls have been learning to fight. All are under the age of 18. Founded by coach Younis Qambrani back in 1992, the club opened to female boxers for the first time last October.

Qambrani told Reuters:

A number of girls were keen on training, but due to social pressures, I had been avoiding the issue. Last year a girl came to me, asking why girls couldn’t train. I was moved when she said, ‘No one teaches us how to defend ourselves.’

Another boxing camp for girls also opened in the area last year, according to Dawn.

Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Arisha, 9, takes instructions from coach Younis Qambrani. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Azmeena, 16, warms up. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Javeria (L) and Mehek check a selfie after training. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Aamna, 11, waits to fight. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
A friend wraps the hand of a boxer. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Fifteen-year-old boxer Mehek training alone. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Anum, 17, being trained. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Urooj, 15, spits water between rounds in her bout. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
Students of a madrasa (religious school) gather to watch. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
Spotlight: Boxing for girls in Karachi
A view of the entrance of the first women’s boxing coaching camp in Karachi, Pakistan. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)
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