The Politics of <i>Zan</i> From Amanullah to Karzai

Shireen Khan Burki

in Land of the Unconquerable

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520261853
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948990 | DOI:
The Politics of Zan From Amanullah to Karzai

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This chapter addresses the frustrating and dangerous maze of Afghanistan's official gender policies starting in 1919, when ideas of equality were introduced, and suggests how future attempts to raise women's status might actually have lasting success. Afghanistan's “modernization” process was first set in motion by Amir Amanullah's grandfather, Amir Abdur Rahman, and continued by his father Amir Habibullah, albeit limitedly. Amanullah introduced the Nizamnamah-ye-Arusi and Nikah wa Khatnasuri laws regarding engagements and marriage. Muhammad Nadir Shah removed any symbols of Amanullah's era. When Muhammad Zahir Shah assumed the throne after Nadir Shah's assassination in 1933, he continued his father's approach of slow progression on gender and social issues. The gender policies of Kabul have reflected the perceptions, attitudes, and traditions of those in power. Without tangible improvements in both the security and economic realms, Afghan women will continue to be pawns in endless cycles of violence and suffering.

Keywords: gender policies; Afghan women; Amir Amanullah; Muhammad Nadir Shah; Muhammad Zahir Shah; Kabul; modernization

Chapter.  5802 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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