Women boxers fighting stereotypes and opponents

On 2 February, 2012, in 2012 Games, Experience 2012, by Olympic.Outreach

2012 will be London’s third summer Olympics, but it will also be an Olympics of firsts. Perhaps the most high profile “first” will be the sight of women slugging it out for medals in the boxing ring.

Five times American boxing champion Queen Underwood is vying to join Muhammed Ali and George Foreman as an Olympic boxer. The London 2012 Boxing Test Event is one of the steps along the way. We met her at St. Luke’s Primary School in Tower Hamlets London, before the competition began. Team USA’s boxers had spent the morning encouraging local school kids, especially the girls, to employ discipline and determination to achieve their dreams. Her advice for women ?

“No matter what you are involved in, just go for it. Don’t let anybody tell you that’s just for guys”.

One thousand miles away in Kabul one of Queen’s potential opponents is also limbering up for the fight of her life. Channel 4 news reported this week on how Afghan women are also hoping to reach the podium in London. 19-year-old Shabnan Zahimi is as determined as her American counterpart.

“An ordinary girl can follow a boxing career and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with her brothers”.

It’s shaping up to be quite a contest this summer.

Secretary Clinton has made advancing the rights of women across the world a major priority. Grants are available to community-based organizations working to meet the needs of women and girls. For more information email us, or check out the website.