Women in Comparative Societoes
Price of Honor

Chpt. 3 Pakistan
Indus Valley
Home to one of world's most advanced early civilizations
Contemporary of Ancient Egypt, Mesopatamia
As advanced, better administered

Later, colonization by the British

1947 Independence, partition from India
First leader of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah

jinnah    gandhi and jinnah
Intended a secular state
Pleaded for better treatment of women
"Take along your women with you as comrades in every sphere of life."
"It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of their homes like prisoners."

"I do not mean that we should imitate the evils of Western life.  But let us try to raise the status of our women according to our own Islamic ideals and standards.  There is not sanction anywhere for the deplorable conditions in which our women have to live."

But the country was "Islamicized" by its martial law "president" General Zia-al-Haq, who overthrew Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and had him executed

Presided over 11 years of military dictatorship in Pakistan
1977-1988 (when he is killed in a plane crash)

Claimed he was "fulfilling Pakistan's divine mission of becoming an Islamic state" (54).

Under his rule the Hudood Ordinances were passed
including the zina laws (making adultery, fornication, and sex outside of marriage crimes punishable by flogging, stoning)
Criminalized women showing their faces, wearing makeup
Forced to wear the chador (large shawl), hijab (scarf over hair) or burqa (head to toe covering of heavier material with mesh even covering the eyes)

Resulted in an incredible amount of violence and sexual violence against women

Rape, gang rape, forcible marriage, beatings and burnings, "dowry deaths"

Note:  Pakistan's Sindh province mentioned in Bare Branches as one of the region's most prone to military invasion and where son preference is most entrenched

Concise History of Modern Pakistan

Benazhir  Bhutto and the People's Popular Party win office in 1988
served as PM for 20 months; re-elected in 1993; served 3 years


She promises to enhance women's status, rights
Little changes

See BBC site, especially policies

Mired in corruption charges, lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai

Women of Courage

asma jahangir

Asma Jahangir
Women's Action Forum
WAR (War Against Rape)

Women of Leaders in Pakistan

Chpt. 4 Afghanistan

Recounts history of Afghanistan

     afghan women delegates loya jirga 2003

19th-20th Century

Struggle between Great Britain and Russia



Cold War era conflict between Soviet backed Communists and US backed mujahideen (1979-1991)


The CIA funnels more than $3 bln in arms and funds to the mujahideen via Pakistani secret service, the ISI


The ISI then channeled 75% of the money to rabidly anti-American Afghan Islamists


Other factions sponsored by the Saudi government who promoted Wahabism, the strictest form of Islam, that practiced in Saudi Arabia even though 85 percent of Afghans were adherents to moderate form (Hanafi)


The war created the largest refugee population in the world at the time, roughly 3.5 mln Afghans living in and around Peshawar, Pakistan


1991-1994 Period where various elements of the mujahideen gain power


1994 The most fundamentalist faction

The Taliban gains control of government

Implements radical version of Islam


Ministry of Public Vice and Virtue

Public executions and amputations


Laws on women

        No longer allowed to work outside of home

        Must wear head-to-toe covering of burqa when out

        No nail polish, make-up, tweezing of eyebrows

Now their story can be told:

afghanistan unveiled
Search Foley for Afghanistan Unveiled
A documentary made by young Afghani women student/journalists and French filmakers

Post-US Invasion
women and men delegates to afghan loya jirga 2003

Afghan Constitution Rewritten at Loya Jirga, 2002
Women delegates selected, sent
At first, kept alone in a room
Eventually, pressure, international scrutiny gets them released, involved in process

New Constitution does grant women and men equal status before the law, the right to vote, serve in office

Yet there are limits, criticisms especially regarding women's treatment

USIA Report
Amnesty International had been critical of its limits]

Women of Courage
Murdered RAWA Activist Meena
Afghan Women Connect

Gender Regimes: Militarist Regimes, Big Stick Oligarchies