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Prajnya Gender Talks


Muslim Women, Agency, and
Politics of Resistance in Kashmir


by Dr. Inshah Malik


Saturday, February 13, 2021
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Indian Standard Time
Registration required:


About the speaker:

Dr. Inshah Malik is an Assistant Professor of Political Theory and International Relations at Kardan University in Kabul, Afghanistan and a Visiting Professor at University of Washington. She was awarded a PhD degree from Center for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. A Former Fox Fellow at Yale University, her monograph on Muslim Women, Agency and Resistance Politics: The Case of Kashmir was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019. Her research interests include Political Theory, History of Islam, Political Movements, Internet Activism and Gender Studies in Central and South Asia particularly India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir.

About the presentation:

This talk offers an intricate view of Islam and its socio-cultural influence on Muslim subjects particularly women in the “contested” and occupied land of Kashmir. It explores the dominant narrative within Indian scholarship and media portrayal of Muslim Kashmiri women as either voiceless victims, or ideological supporters of men or simply as victims caught between two contesting militaristic patriarchies—whose primary political investment is peacebuilding. This understanding of Kashmiri Muslim women has ossified because of the inherent feminist assumption that a recognizable women’s agency is the one that resists cultural patriarchy alone. This assumption might be valid for societies which have a strong private-public division. However, under a pervasive and intrusive military occupation, a public-private division collapses and political contest for sovereignty leaves no middle ground to tread. Consequently, in such situations women’s political action translates into resistance against everyday brutalization and dehumanization to protect themselves and their families. Exploring a few ethnographic case studies, the talk theorizes experiences and philosophical moorings of a new age feminist subjectivity of Kashmir Muslim women.

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