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Discourses of gender identities and gender roles in Pakistan: Women and non-domestic work in political representations


Grünenfelder, Julia (2013). Discourses of gender identities and gender roles in Pakistan: Women and non-domestic work in political representations. Women's Studies International Forum, 40:68-77.

Abstract

This paper aims to explore some of the manifold and changing links that official Pakistani state discourses forged between women and work from the 1940s to the late 2000s. The focus of the analysis is on discursive spaces that have been created for women engaged in non-domestic work. Starting from an interpretation of the existing academic literature, this paper argues that Pakistani women's non-domestic work has been conceptualised in three major ways: as a contribution to national development, as a danger to the nation, and as non-existent. The paper concludes that although some conceptualisations of work have been more powerful than others and, at specific historical junctures, have become part of concrete state policies, alternative conceptualisations have always existed alongside them. Disclosing the state's implication in the discursive construction of working women's identities might contribute to the destabilisation of hegemonic concepts of gendered divisions of labour in Pakistan.

Abstract

This paper aims to explore some of the manifold and changing links that official Pakistani state discourses forged between women and work from the 1940s to the late 2000s. The focus of the analysis is on discursive spaces that have been created for women engaged in non-domestic work. Starting from an interpretation of the existing academic literature, this paper argues that Pakistani women's non-domestic work has been conceptualised in three major ways: as a contribution to national development, as a danger to the nation, and as non-existent. The paper concludes that although some conceptualisations of work have been more powerful than others and, at specific historical junctures, have become part of concrete state policies, alternative conceptualisations have always existed alongside them. Disclosing the state's implication in the discursive construction of working women's identities might contribute to the destabilisation of hegemonic concepts of gendered divisions of labour in Pakistan.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:19 Jun 2013 12:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:49
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0277-5395
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2013.05.007

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