Displaying items 61 - 75 of 91 in total
  • Archive Resource

    Unsafe Abortion: A Development Issue, IDS Bulletin 39.3

    Abortion has become an ever more controversial issue, provoking strong reactions both ‘for’ and ‘against’. Language used in disputes over whether or not women should have access to safe and legal abortion indicates just how polarised debates have become: pro-choice versus pro-life; pro-abortion versus anti-choice. As the anti-abortion agenda has become coupled with other conservative agendas, such as ‘pro-abstinence’, ‘pro-chastity’ and ‘anti-contraception’, an increasingly assertive movement has evolved. The extension of these conservative forces to parts of the world where thousands of women die every year because they were unable to access safe abortion and protect themselves from HIV infection, has turned this polarized dispute into an urgent development issue. …

  • Archive Resource

    Why We Need To Think About Sexuality And Sexual Well-Being: Addressing Sexual Violence In Sub-Saharan Africa

    In her exploration in this chapter of pleasure and violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, Chi-Chi Undie argues that it is important to acknowledge and talk about sexual wellbeing and pleasure with the victims and perpetrators of violence. Otherwise, survivors remain forever defined by their negative experiences, unable to move beyond these to enjoy sexual relationships again. And if perpetrators only hear stories of sexual violence then they are given the impression that sexual violence is normal, and that no alternative is possible. This chapter highlights the need to consider sexuality and sexual well-being – even when working on sexual violence; provides an analysis of the public health, religious and development framings of sexuality and sexual well-being; calls for a more nuanced understanding of sexual violence and an improvement in service provision, particularly in the area of psychosocial support; and suggests that there are actually parallels in the way that sexual violence and sexuality (more broadly) are framed, and points out the shortcomings of these framings. …

  • Archive Resource

    Women And Paid Work In Pakistan

    This chapter offers an analysis of women and paid work with a view to identifying where there are changes underway in this area that may play a role in leading to equitable gender relations in Pakistan in the long term. The discussion is based on existing research on the subject, which comes from a variety of disciplines. Much of the research that will be discussed below is preliminary and based on micro-studies, or on larger quantitative surveys that may have ignored some of the diversity within the country. Women in Pakistan live in a society that is highly stratified according to class, caste, region and cultural variations, all of which have implications for their lives and opportunities. …

  • Archive Resource

    Women And Religion In Bangladesh And Pakistan

    With growing observance of the veil, a rise in faith-based schooling, and the increasing popularity of Islamic television channels, religious activity has come to play a more and more significant part in the lives of women in South Asia. Pathways’ research sought to explore what the changes in the cultural and political landscape signal for women’s understanding of self and their ability to live “freely” in the world. Does religion become all encompassing and stifle women’s sense of self? Or do women find ways to use new idioms to feel empowered? …

  • Archive Resource

    Women And Religion In Bangladesh: New Paths

    In south Asia as elsewhere in the world, religion has come to play an increasing role in shaping and reshaping women’s lives. This process is a particular challenge to people like Firdous Azim, a feminist who “grew up” intellectually and politically via involvement in the women’s movement of the 1980s in Bangladesh. The activism of that period was explicitly secular; its main priorities were the issues of rights, inequalities and violence prevalent in a young state which had achieved independence only in 1971. Firdous Azim is professor in the department of English and the humanities at BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. …

  • Archive Resource

    Women, Islam And Nation In Bengal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    Women have always been central to the process of national identity formation in South Asia, and in the contests and contradictions with which such monolithic identity making is, of necessity, faced. It is hoped that the new scholarship will open up new ways of negotiating contested terrains, and will shed new light on the historical and cultural positioning of women in this process. In this article, Azim reviews two books that look at Islam and the politics of being Muslim in Bangladesh. The books concentrate on the construction of Islam or a Muslim polity as well as on the position of women within emerging structures. …

  • Archive Resource

    Women's Dars and the Limitations of Desire: The Pakistan Case

    This chapter explores the impact that the Wahabi dars or teaching practice had on women’s lives in Pakistan. It draws on a study, undertaken simultaneously in Lahore and Dhaka, that sought to examine both discursive and spatial arrangements of the dars in order to understand what was drawing large numbers of women to these meetings, track the process of change from traditional practice and eclecticism of popular Islam to the certitudes and rigidities of the dars discourse and to mark the moments that initiated the move, if any, from acceptance of the status quo towards the possibility of choice and exercise of agency as a result of this engagement. …

  • Archive Resource

    Women Writing The Nation. Cultural History Of Bengali Muslim Women: Part I (1890-1939)

    This presentation to the Pathways South Asia Hub Final Conference held in Dhaka from 26-28 July 2011 outlines research which, in the light of a seemingly contentious relationship between state, religion and modernity in Bangladesh attempts to understand the historical antecedents of tensions in the modern Bengali Muslim woman and how she negotiates religion. The historical research begins from the early twentieth century to trace the formation of the idea of a Bengali nation to its source. Its focus is through literature and journals which expressed the thoughts and desires of Bengalis, and became the site where language, nationhood and the place of woman in the nation were debated. …

  • Research Project

    Changing Narratives of Empowerment in Pakistan: Trajectories of Desire and the Mediation of Socio-Cultural Spaces

    We examine the discursive changes that are taking place in areas related to the media, predominantly satellite television and religion, viz the global upsurge of religious fundamentalisms and resurgent patriarchies in Pakistan, in the wider context of new technologies, consumerism and globalisation. We have identified and attempt to grant visibility to new pathways and sites of change in the area of media and religion and women’s empowerment. …

  • Research Project

    Complex Terrains - Islam, Culture and Women in Asia. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    The special journal issue sprung out of a special panel at the IACS 2009 Tokyo Conference. The panel, entitled ‘Women Negotiating Islam’ had looked at how women in different locations cope with the ways that religion, either as politics or as culture, enters their lives. …

  • Research Project

    Contestations

    Contestations is an e-journal whose aim is to elicit lively disagreements and to offer a platform for argumentation. It is inspired by a vision of deliberation that is about people feeling able to air their views, listen to a plurality of positioned responses and take from that what they will - without any pressure to arrive at a consensual conclusion. It is, above all, about the freedom to dissent with any of the orthodoxies that exist in the field of women's empowerment - and there are many - and take the opportunity to provoke others to think again about the things they take for granted. …

  • Research Project

    Cultural History of Women in Bangladesh

    The project explored the identity formation of Bengali Muslim women by investigating the cultural and political history of Bangladesh spanning the 20th Century. Researchers investigated how women placed themselves in the anti-colonial nationalist movements of the early twentieth century; the import of language, culture and national identity for Bengali Muslims during the middle decades; and the contestations between nation, culture, progress, modernity and women's sexuality in a globalised world towards the end of the millennium. …

  • Research Project

    Discourses on Women's Empowerment in Sierra Leone

    Pre-war discourses of empowerment which were mainly around issues of development have now changed, in this post-war era, to include issues of gender equality, participation and voice, among others. This project has tracked these changes in relation to women’s conceptions of empowerment during this period. …

  • Research Project

    Feminisms and the Struggle for Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights - the Brazilian Experience

    By exploring the link between the denial of women’s reproductive rights and the denial of women’s sexual agency under patriarchy, the researchers sought to elucidate the conditions under which feminist demands around abortion have been successful by drawing together experiences from across Latin America. …

  • Research Project

    Gender, Rights and Religion at the Crossroads, IDS Bulletin, 42.1, 2011

    This bulletin explores how religion has been used in an instrumental manner by global, local and national actors as a means of engaging with gender issues in Muslim communities. …