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Girls In Ethiopia Are Learning How To Skateboard At This All-Girls Club And They Look Super Cool

Ethiopian Girl Skaters, a women-led group, has been empowering young girls through skateboarding in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian Girl Skaters, a women-led group, has been empowering young girls through skateboarding in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
The group, founded by skateboarders Sosina Challa and Micky Asfaw, has taught about 150 young girls between 10 and 25 years old since December 2020.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa
The founders were initially part of the non-profit organization, Ethiopia Skate, which provide resources for young skaters in the country and even helped build major skateboarding parks in the capital.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa
However, co-founder Challa wasn’t completely comfortable with environment and worked alongside the group to create Ethiopian Girl Skaters.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa
In Ethiopia, the sport is almost entirely male-dominated and girls are often expected to stay at home and help their parents.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa

“It’s not really common for a girl to start skating because people don’t support you,” a 22 year-old woman skater told AFP.

Now in an all-women environment, the girls feel more at ease and comfortable learning the sport and practicing new tricks.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa
The group provides “a safe place from an environment characterized by experiencing sexist comments and a lot of anxiety,” a woman skater, Hermela Denkneh Seble, told Vogue.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa
After months of practice, girls feel more confident on the board and are just happy to skate.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa

Although some members compete, Challa emphasizes the importance of building a community instead.

“We try to build friendships, help other girls and build confidence,” the co-founder told Vogue.

The group has also provided opportunities for girls to practice in an ongoing civil war that started in November 2020.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa
The Tigray War has affected opportunities for girls to skate outside of parks, with the government neglecting the state of roads as they shift the budget for infrastructure to support the war.
ethiopia girls skateboarding addis ababa
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