Founder & Director, Girl Power Organization
Khalida Popal began breaking down barriers and empowering women in Afghanistan in 2007 when she helped found the Afghan National Women’s Soccer Team. She served as the team captain, and she later became the first woman ever hired by the Afghanistan Football Federation.
When it became clear that she was no longer safe in the country, she went into exile and has continued her advocacy for the rights of women and girls by establishing the Denmark-based Girl Power Organisation.
Girl Power encourages women’s empowerment through sport, particularly for refugee and migrant girls.
Ms Popal has become an outspoken and deeply respected advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan and beyond. A former defender on the soccer field, she is now a defender and champion of human rights around the globe. Amid the recent fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, she worked tirelessly to help dozens of female senior and youth soccer players from the senior & junior national teams escape and relocate. She has continued to support these girls and their families as they transition to their new countries of residence.