Published by: ASR
Release Date: March 1994
Authors: Nighat Said Khan, Rubina Saigol, Afiya Shehrbano Zia
This book introduces certain ideas and reflections on feminism and the women's movement. The essays included here raise issues of concern in Women's Studies. The origin of Women's Studies as a discipline within English Literature, is highlighted. Similarly, the connection of feminist ideas with the women's movement is underlined as an important part of the struggle for emancipation.
These prejudices are the result of a series of misunderstandings and misgivings about Women's Studies and feminism. The most common prejudice in Pakistan is that 'feminism' is a Western phenomenon, unsuitable for our culture, and rooted in different social and moral norms. The cultural specificity argument overlooks the fact that the issue is universal because patriarchy is universal, although its manifestation differs in different cultures. Furthermore, feminism has a history in South Asia which is as old as that of Western feminism.
About the Author
Many, who know her well, call her Bunny. To those who don’t, Nighat Said Khan is the director and founder of the Applied Socio-Economic Research (ASR) Resource Centre — a non-profit organisation that has been one of the pioneers in feminist and social activism, and in combining activism with research and theory. She has also helped establish the Institute of Women’s Studies Lahore (IWSL), aiming to close the gap between theory and practice in political and social movements.
Her journey began long before she permanently moved to Pakistan, long before she attended Columbia University in the 1960s in New York. We can go even further back, to when she was a mere 14-year-old, defying her father’s position in the army.
Always on the go, always controversial, always direct and forthcoming. Khan has long been involved in the women’s rights movement and peoples’ movements in Pakistan as one of their most prominent faces. But not very many know of her personal life and her fierce resistance to personal problems and challenges.