Cover image for The women of Afghanistan under the Taliban
The women of Afghanistan under the Taliban
Skaine, Rosemarie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 198 pages ; 23 cm
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1735.6 .S39 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Even though the people of Afghanistan have in general suffered under the rule of the Taliban, women live especially difficult lives, enduring terrible hardships. They are denied basic human rights, forced to wear veil and kept in seclusion. This work addresses the religion, revolution, and national identity of Afghani women and places them within their gender-political and religious-political roles, thus elevating our understanding of their abuse, imprisonment and murder, and offering a basis for their rehabilitation. Powerful and moving interviews with Afghani women conducted and translated by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan are presented and a brief history of the struggle of the Afghani women and an overview of the conflict between the Afghanis and the Talibans are included.

Author Notes

Rosemarie Skaine, a sociologist in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Skaine's book is a good introduction for readers looking for a comprehensive book about women in Afghanistan. She begins by dispelling the notion that historically women in Afghanistan were passive and repressed. Before they were forbidden to work by the Taliban, women labored as teachers, government committee members, and doctors. RAWA was formed not during the reign of the Mujahideen or the Taliban but back in 1977 to fight for women's rights and then, later, to oppose the Russian invaders and eventually the Taliban. Skaine also includes a chapter with interviews of Afghan refugees gathered by RAWA that detail the radical changes life in Afghanistan underwent under the rule of the Taliban. Another chapter offers an analysis of groups and countries that are offering aid to Afghanistan. Skaine's book will appeal to readers curious about the conditions for women in Afghanistan prior to the overthrow of the Taliban. Kristine Huntley.

Choice Review

Purporting to examine the lives of Afghan women "in order to understand their courage and achievements," this book offers a pastiche of information gathered from magazine articles, scholarly books, and published reports from the United Nations and other international organizations. Skaine condenses and arranges the data into chapters that focus on the experiences of Afghan women in the context of their country's recent turbulent history. One section is devoted to short (some no longer than a paragraph) accounts by Afghan women refugees, describing their experiences under the Taliban regime. The 30 or so interviews were conducted and translated by members of the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) in response to a set of five questions submitted by the author. The accounts, not surprisingly, reaffirm the plight of Afghan women as they try to cope with a tradition-bound patriarchal culture and the harsh demands of the extremist Islamic regime of the Taliban. Besides its sympathetic tone and expressed solidarity with Afghan women, the book offers no new data or original insight into the political and cultural complexity of Afghanistan and the evolving fate of its citizens, women and men alike. General and undergraduate collections. A. Rassam CUNY Queens College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. v
Abbreviationsp. ix
Tablesp. viii
Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 3
1 Modern Political and Social Roles of Afghan Womenp. 13
2 Women's Roles in Islamp. 34
3 Afghan Women, Contemporary Wars and Geopolitical Forcesp. 45
4 Afghan Women Under the Rule of the Talibanp. 61
5 Profiles of Afghan Womenp. 86
6 Hope for the Futurep. 124
Appendix A Selected Organizations That Provide Information on Afghanistanp. 149
Appendix B Notes from the 2000 Conference for Women of Afghanistanp. 152
Appendix C Some of the Restrictions and Decrees Imposed by the Talibanp. 156
Glossaryp. 161
Notesp. 163
Bibliographyp. 181
Indexp. 189