Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women


Heath, Jennifer, and Ashraf Zahedi, eds. 2011. Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Authors: Jennifer Heath, Ashraf Zahedi


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 women’s empowerment and agency, and their struggles for peace and justice in the face of a brutal ongoing war. A fuller picture of Afghanistan’s women past and present emerges, leading to social policy suggestions and pragmatic solutions for a peaceful future. (Summary from University of California Press)
Table of Contents:
Jennifer Heath
1. The Politics of Zan from Amanullah to Karzai: Lessons for Improving Afghan Women’s Status
Shireen Khan Burki
2. Between Covered and Covert: Traditions, Stereotypes, and Afghan Women’s Agency
Margaret A. Mills
3. Centuries of Threat, Centuries of Resistance: The Lessons of Afghan Women’s Resilience
Anne E. Brodsky
4. Don’t Say What, Who, and When, Say How: Community Development and Women
Wahid Omar
5. Afghanistan Blues: Seeing Beyond the Burqa on YouTube
Dinah Zeiger
6. Women’s 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
11. The Hidden War against Women: Health Care in Afghanistan
Sima Samar
12. Challenges to Cripple the Spirit: A Midwife’s 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
16. Mending Afghanistan Stitch by Stitch: How Traditional Crafts and Social Organization Advance Afghan Women
Rachel Lehr
17. Rural Women’s 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 Women’s Empowerment
Ashraf Zahedi
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: Afghanistan’s Women Poets
Zuzanna Olszewska
24. Hopes and Dreams: Interviews with Young Afghans
Amina Kator

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2011

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