Author(s): Shaheed F
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Abstract In Pakistan, the self-serving use of Islam by more secular elements alongside politico-religious ones facilitated the latter's increasing influence and the conflation and intricate interweaving of Islam and Pakistani nationhood. A paradigm shift under Zia's martial law revamped society as much as state laws, producing both religiously defined militias and aligned civil society groups. Examining the impact on women of fusing religion and politics, this paper argues that women become symbolic markers of appropriated territory in the pursuit of state power, and that the impact of such fusing, different for differently situated women, needs to be gauged in societal terms as well as in terms of state dynamics. Questioning the positing of civil society as a self-evident progressive desideratum, the paper concludes that gender equality projects seeking reconfigurations of power cannot be effective without vigorously competing in the creation of knowledge, culture and identity.
This article was published in Third World Q
and referenced in Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs