Gendered Cities

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Gendered Cities

  1. 1. Gendered Cities: Kabul in A Thousand Splendid Suns , by Khaled Hosseini Ramona Bran University of the West Timisoara Faculty of Sociology and Psychology
  2. 2. “ One cannot count the moons that shimmer on her roofs Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls ” Ode to Kabul by Saeb-e-Tabrizi
  3. 3. <ul><li>Women of Afghanistan: </li></ul><ul><li>● wives and mothers </li></ul><ul><li>● restricted to the home </li></ul><ul><li>● no / low education </li></ul>
  4. 4. Wives <ul><li>… of the same man </li></ul><ul><li>Rasheed is 40 when he marries Mariam, 60 when he marries Laila </li></ul><ul><li>Jamil has 3 wives and a lover (Mariam’s mother) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Polygamy
  6. 6. <ul><li>Maximum number of 4 wives </li></ul><ul><li>The husband should not discriminate among them </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>Muhammad: 9 wives (Aisha was his favourite) </li></ul><ul><li>Rasheed: 2 wives (Laila is his favourite, if only for a short while) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Child brides <ul><li>“ A girl should have her first period in her husband’s house, not in her father’s house ” (Afghan proverb) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Aisha is 9 </li></ul><ul><li>Mariam is 15 (marriage arranged by her father) </li></ul><ul><li>Laila is 14 (orphaned, is forced by circumstances) </li></ul><ul><li>● Rasheed believes marrying Laila is “right down charitable” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mothers <ul><li>… of boys preferably </li></ul><ul><li>Rasheed had had a boy from a previous marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Mariam – 7 miscarriages (apparently failed in her “career” as a mother) </li></ul><ul><li>Laila – 2 children (Aziza and Zalmai, the boy ) </li></ul>
  10. 10. The home Women forbidden to go OUTSIDE unaccompanied -Flogged if caught -Imprisoned (and then beaten by their fathers) if they tried to runaway Women secluded INSIDE their homes -Doing all the chores -Rearing the children -Being abused
  11. 11. Domestic violence Rasheed beats both his wives fiercely -makes Mariam chew pebbles -Laila loses a few teeth after being battered -both are kept for 3 days in separate rooms, without light, water or food
  12. 12. <ul><li>“ cooperation” between the wives (try to run away) </li></ul><ul><li>Mariam: - befriends Laila </li></ul><ul><li>- succeeds as a “mother” to Aziza </li></ul><ul><li>- kills Rasheed when he was suffocating Laila </li></ul><ul><li>- is sentenced to death </li></ul><ul><li>● Laila: - runs to Pakistan with Tariq and the children </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>For any questions… </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>All the photos were taken from flickrcc (under Creative Commons License) </li></ul>

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