Womanhood In Pakistan: Role Of Nationalism, Islam, And Colonial Legacy
The common perception of the main root of coercion against women in Pakistan is Islam. Resultantly, the colonial inheritance depicted in identity of Pakistan in form of social, cultural, and political reality is disregarded. Therefore, it becomes significant to study the formulation of Islamic culture of Pakistan under the umbrella of nationalism, as a form of colonial legacy, to explicate the image of ‘subjugated women of Pakistan’. This paper argues, the concept of ‘oppressed Pakistani women’ is not a mere result of Islamic authority, as portrayed globally. Rather, this image is based on very complex overarching concepts of kinship, ethnic and tribal identities derived from colonial legacies, and political recognitions. In short, the article negates the reduction of the image of ‘oppressed women of Pakistan to’ to Islamic concept of gender relations; thus, maintains, womanhood in Pakistan as not a representative of only Islamic culture. For, Islamization, and womanhood are flourished in complex cultural discourse of nationalism with underpinnings of colonial legacy. It is further explored in the paper that how the binaries resulted during the process of colonization, along with the project of nationalism divides and defines the gender roles, and turns woman into the symbol of piety, honor, and submission.
Key Words - Women of Pakistan, Colonial Legacy, Islam, Nationalism