The Hazara community, which is majorly Shia Muslims, has been a target of sectarian violence for decades in the southwestern city of Quetta. This community is one of the most ‘oppressed’ minorities of Pakistan.
Now, hundreds of Hazara women are learning martial arts. They are practicing side kicks and elbows to learn ‘self-defense’ against routine harassment from men.
Talking to a well-reputed media outlet, 20-year-old Nargis Batool revealed that although they can not stop bomb blasts with karate, they still feel ‘confident’ learning how to protect themselves. She also revealed that since everyone around her knows she is going to the club, no one dares to say anything to her.
Head of the Balochistan Wushu Kung Fu Association, Ishaq Ali, informed that up to 4,000 women are taking classes on regular basis in more than 25 clubs in Balochistan.
Many also aim on earning through the sport by taking part in different competitions taking inspiration from Nargis Hazara and Kulsoom Hazara, who have been able to win medals in the international competitions.
Martial arts teacher, Fida Hussain Kazmi, told a media outlet that although women cannot exercise in the society, they are still being allowed to practice the sport from their families so they can learn self-protection and self-defense.
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