Reconstituting Manhood: Examining Post-Conflict Remasculinisation and its Effects on Women and Women's Rights In Afghanistan
In-Spire Journal of Law, Politics, and Societies, Vol.3 (no.1) 2008, p 56-72
19 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2015 Last revised: 21 Nov 2020
Date Written: December 1, 2008
Masculinity has always occupied a central position in Afghan culture and identity. Historically it has expressed itself through the designation of female behaviour as standards by which to judge male honour and social status. Under the Taliban, women were perceived as inferior and their status as rights-bearers was continuously challenged. The rights of women are further imperilled by the crisis in male masculinity that has resulted from the protracted episodes of male-targeted violence. At present, with the Taliban ousted and Afghanistan undergoing a period of reconstruction, it is important to consider how Afghan men will attempt to reassert their masculinity after a long period of extreme violence and oppression, and how such practices may impinge on the human rights of women within Afghanistan. This paper argues that because traditional means by which masculinity is asserted in most societies have been rendered virtually devastated or severely restricted by the long episodes of conflict, men will attempt to reclaim their masculinity through the use of violence. Using traditional theories of masculinity, the article argues that remasculinisation in Afghanistan will occur through the use of violence, particularly in the private sphere, where women will often become the most accessible targets.
Keywords: Masculinity, Afghan society, women's rights, violence
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