Fatima has used her platform as a soccer player to advocate for women’s rights, and was set to be a speaker at our official launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Refugees Group in Parliament House.
In August 2021, instead of competing in the Asia Cup qualifier, Fatima and members of her team fled their country amid bombings, gunfire and human stampedes as the militant Taliban took control. Some were forced to leave family, friends and teammates behind in search of safety.
More than a year since the Afghanistan women’s national team found asylum in Australia, Fatima and her team’s thoughts are with women back home.
“In Afghanistan, the situation is worse than when we left –especially for women,” she said.
Women’s rights, earned painfully over 20 years, have been wound back. Laws prevent women and girls from rights of expression, movement and education.
“This has affected women’s livelihoods, health care as well as access to basic necessities such as food and water. We are grateful to be in Australia, but we worry about our family and friends at home in Afghanistan.”