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Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women

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Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Land of the Unconquerable is a timely collection of insightful articles and reflections. The first person accounts by long-time Afghan activists are especially moving. It is far too rare to hear Afghans, particularly Afghan women, speak in their own voices about their realities, and this volume addresses this lack with both courage and clarity.” —Kavita N. Ramdas, former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women and current Visiting Scholar and Fellow at Stanford University

“This is a valuable book addressing a question that needs to be understood if peace in Afghanistan is ever to be achieved.” —Haleh Afshar, co-author of Women in Later Life: Exploring Race and Ethnicity

“This book urgently and importantly avoids politicizing womens issues for personal gain.” —Sima Wali, former President of Refugee Women in Development and former Peace Talks delegate at the Bonn Conference

“The United States and its NATO allies declared they would liberate the women of Afghanistan from years of brutal exploitation and tyrannical rule when they entered the country and toppled the Taliban in late 2001. This timely and informative book counters that claim and describes how women continue to suffer since the Taliban fell from power. A diverse group of writers and activists put forth a good review and analysis of the current situation for women in Afghanistan and provide a significant contribution to an extremely important but still neglected subject. Essential reading for those with a serious interest in topics relating to women in Afghanistan.” —Hafizullah Emadi, Development consultant, Afghanistan

Land of the Unconquerable provides a nuanced picture of the complex and diverse lives of Afghan women, and it successfully dispels much public misinformation about Afghanistan and its people. This is an outstanding and timely volume.” —Rickie Solinger, co-editor of Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the U.S.

“This edited collection about the constraints, opportunities and contexts in which Afghan women are living today is a triumph. The essays are well-written, apt, interesting and close to the ground. This will be tremendously useful to scholars and activists around the world.” —Shahla Haeri, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Boston University

Synopsis:

Reaching beyond sensational headlines, Land of the Unconquerable at last offers a three-dimensional portrait of Afghan women. In a series of wide-ranging, deeply reflective essays, accomplished scholars, humanitarian workers, politicians, and journalists—most with extended experience inside Afghanistan—examine the realities of life for women in both urban and rural settings. They address topics including food security, sex work, health, marriage, education, poetry, politics, prisoners, and community development. Eschewing stereotypes about the burqa, the contributors focus instead on womens empowerment and agency, and their struggles for peace and justice in the face of a brutal ongoing war. A fuller picture of Afghanistans women past and present emerges, leading to social policy suggestions and pragmatic solutions for a peaceful future.

About the Author

Jennifer Heath is editor of The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics (UC Press) and author or editor of numerous other books. Ashraf Zahedi is a sociologist at the Beatrice Bain Research Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Jennifer Heath

Part I. Perceptions and Realities

1. The Politics of Zan from Amanullah to Karzai: Lessons for Improving Afghan Womens Status

Shireen Khan Burki

2. Between Covered and Covert: Traditions, Stereotypes, and Afghan Womens Agency

Margaret A. Mills

3. Centuries of Threat, Centuries of Resistance: The Lessons of Afghan Womens Resilience

Anne E. Brodsky

4. Dont Say What, Who, and When, Say How: Community Development and Women

Wahid Omar

5. Afghanistan Blues: Seeing Beyond the Burqa on YouTube

Dinah Zeiger

Part II. A Womans Place

6. Womens Political Presence: A Path to Promoting Gender Interests?

Anna Larson

7. Voices of Parliamentarians: Four Women MPs Share Their Thoughts

Massouda Jalal, Malalai Joya, Fawzia Koofi, and Azita Rafat

8. Nothing Left to Lose: Women in Prison

Lizette Potgieter

9. Selling Sex in Afghanistan: Portraits of Sex Workers in Kabul

Alisa Tang

10. Between Choice and Force: Marriage Practices in Afghanistan

Deborah J. Smith

Part III. To Be Whole in Body and Mind

11. The Hidden War against Women: Health Care in Afghanistan

Sima Samar

12. Challenges to Cripple the Spirit: A Midwifes Experiences

Pamela Chandler

13. Women with Disabilities: Recollections from Across the Decades

Mary MacMakin

14. A Question of Access: Women and Food Security

Elizabeth Stites

15. Psychological Impacts of War: Human Rights and Mental Health

Nahid Aziz

Part IV. Making the Rubble Bloom

16. Mending Afghanistan Stitch by Stitch: How Traditional Crafts and Social Organization Advance Afghan Women

Rachel Lehr

17. Rural Womens Livelihood: Their Position in the Agrarian Economy

Jo Grace and Adam Pain

18. Chadari Politics: Translating Perceptions into Policy and Practice

Lina Abirafeh

19. When the Picture Does Not Fit the Frame: Engaging Afghan Men in Womens Empowerment

Ashraf Zahedi

Part V. “Dont Eclipse My Happy New Moon”

20. Empowering Women through Education: Recipe for Success

Sakena Yacoobi

21. From Both Sides of the Mic: Women and the Media

Aunohita Mojumdar

22. Painting Their Way into the Public World: Women and the Visual Arts

Lauryn Oates

23. A Hidden Discourse: Afghanistans Women Poets

Zuzanna Olszewska

Epilogue: Great Expectations

24. Hopes and Dreams: Interviews with Young Afghans

Amina Kator

Selected Bibliography

About the Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520261860
Author:
Heath, Jennifer
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
Zahedi, Ashraf
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20110331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
13 b/w photographs, 1 map, 1 table
Pages:
406
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1 in 19 oz

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Asia » Afghanistan
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies

Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women Used Trade Paper
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Product details 406 pages University of California Press - English 9780520261860 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Reaching beyond sensational headlines, Land of the Unconquerable at last offers a three-dimensional portrait of Afghan women. In a series of wide-ranging, deeply reflective essays, accomplished scholars, humanitarian workers, politicians, and journalists—most with extended experience inside Afghanistan—examine the realities of life for women in both urban and rural settings. They address topics including food security, sex work, health, marriage, education, poetry, politics, prisoners, and community development. Eschewing stereotypes about the burqa, the contributors focus instead on womens empowerment and agency, and their struggles for peace and justice in the face of a brutal ongoing war. A fuller picture of Afghanistans women past and present emerges, leading to social policy suggestions and pragmatic solutions for a peaceful future.
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