PHOTOS: Angola's all-female demining teams blow up landmines — and gender stereotypes


This headline is brought to you by the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) which works to support resilience and recovery in global communities affected by war and conflict.

(High Plains Public Radio) Clad in sky-blue kevlar body armor with a thick protective visor over her face, 22-year-old Catarina Sanhala inches slowly forward, swinging her handheld metal detector slowly back and forth as she goes. The ground is steep and rocky and she moves with careful, deliberate steps. Falling could have consequences far beyond bruised knees or twisted ankles.

A year ago, Sanhala was enjoying a successful career as a professional handball player representing her hometown of Lobito, a port city in western Angola. That life now feels a long way off. Today, she is part of a highly trained all-female demining squad working to rid her country of deadly anti-personnel and anti-tank mines while at the same time challenging traditional notions of gender roles in this southern African nation.

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Published: Monday, June 13, 2022

Last Updated: Monday, June 13, 2022

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