The Symbolic Use of Afghan Women in the War on Terror

Citation:

Berry, Kim. 2003. “The Symbolic Use of Afghan Women in the War on Terror.” Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 27 (2): 137-160. 

Author: Kim Berry

Abstract:

This article analyzes the critical omissions and misrepresentations that accompanied the Bush administration claims that the war on terror waged in Afghanistan was "also a fight for the rights and dignity of women." The article incorporates the insights of Afghan and U.S. analysts, activists, and journalists, along with feminist theorists of Islam and the politics of representation, in order to problematize this characterization of a liberatory U.S. military action. Without such critical analysis, the article argues that we run the risk of using Afghan women as symbols and pawns in a geopolitical conflict, thereby muting their diverse needs and interests and foreclosing the possibility of contributing to the realization of their self-defined priorities and aspirations.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, Terrorism Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, United States of America

Year: 2003

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.