Women Social Movements in Afghanistan and Pakistan
One aspect of the position of women in Afghanistan and Pakistan is all too clear from the images and reports we see more and more frequently: veiled (or cocooned in a burka), victim of an honor killing, an acid attack or a gang rape; subject to Islamic laws that devalue them. But women in these two Muslim countries have sought to break the barriers of their rigidly patriarchal societies while refusing to surrender their identity as Muslims. Understanding how they have fared could hold the key to how women in South Asia and other parts of the Muslim world negotiate their autonomy and reclaim their right to participate as equal citizens on their own terms. At the same time, no women’s movement anywhere can develop in isolation. Therefore, this course will explore lines of conflict and co-operation between women and other groups in society, such as the rural peasantry, the urban poor, migrant labour, students and peace activists.