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Pakhtun Men's Perceptions of the Conditions Promoting Domestic Violence in their Culture

Saeed, Muhammad (2012) Pakhtun Men's Perceptions of the Conditions Promoting Domestic Violence in their Culture. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis reflects on Pakhtun men�s perceptions of the conditions promoting domestic violence against women in their culture. The existing literature on domestic violence in Pakistan, the primary focus of which is the women victims of such violence, shows some staggering and skewed statistics, owing to the deeply embedded patriarchal social structure, gender-prejudiced attitudes prevailing at every level of society as well as poverty, illiteracy, a strict pattern of gender- specific roles and spaces, socio-economic dependence of women on men supported by religion. However, men�s views on this issue have rarely been addressed in Pakistan in general and Pakhtun society in particular. I examine how the social and cultural environment of Pakhtun society influences the construction of (violent) masculinity and gender-power relations. These create the potential for violence, specifically domestic violence against women. The research was carried out in four different locations of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Data was generated through semi-structured and in-depth interviews of 32 male respondents, eight in each of the selected areas, on the basis of three categories, i.e. ethnicity, age, and educational status of the respondents. Drawing upon my respondents� views I show that Pakhtunwali, the core of the Pakhtun social structure, is a key contributing factor offering potential for the construction of violent Pakhtun masculinity particularly through the notions of badal (revenge), gherat (self-honour or Pakhtun honour), and nang (Pakhtun pride). It also encourages a strict pattern of gender hierarchies and spatialization, which leaves women marginalized at all levels. Thus in Pakhtun society one learns to be aggressive in order to dominate and control, and one way this aggression is expressed is through violence against women. I argue that the joint family structure, the general perception of women�s issues including domestic violence as a highly personal and private matter, the absence of an effective and competent criminal justice system, and lack of domestic violence laws provide the perpetrators with considerable impunity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Women's Studies (York)
Depositing User: Mr Muhammad Saeed
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2012 10:38
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2271

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