During the brutal era of Taliban rule, women were jailed for laughing too loudly, murdered for going to school and beaten for leaving the house alone. Making a sound with their footsteps? Illegal.
In October 2015, Zainab, 25, became Afghanistan’s first woman to complete a marathon. She was recruited to run by Stephanie Case, founder of Free to Run. Free to Run had been partnering with schools to build a network of women’s sports clubs.
Zainab braved threats of violence to finish the Marathon of Afghanistan in Bamiyan province. She received national media attention and the Franco-German Afghan Woman of the Year award.
“When I applied for the ultramarathon, I had one goal: to open the way for other girls in Afghanistan – in other parts of society as well, but especially sports,” Zainab said. (theguardian.com)