chapter  10
17 Pages

Women and Power: A Perspective on Marriage among Durrani Pashtuns of Afghan Turkistan

ByNancy Tapper

Discussions of Muslim women, particularly those in rural areas, commonly describe the disabilities suffered by women compared with men: women may have the jural status of minors, and, like children, have little responsibility for their actions and little control over their sexuality, labour and property. The position of women vis-a-vis men can be viewed in this way; but such a perspective is limited. It focuses attention on explicit constructions of sex and gender and formal positions of authority in the society and leads to underestimation of the informal power exercised by women and the relation between this power and the values to which both women and men subscribe.