About Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Afiya Shehrbano Zia is a feminist researcher and activist based in Karachi, Pakistan.  She is the author of,‘ Sex Crime in the Islamic Context’ and several published articles on women, religion and secularism

Articles by Afiya Shehrbano Zia

This week's guest editors

No sex, some lies and a video: Pakistan's Taliban impasse

It was not an act of violence against women but a macabre video that led to the abortion of this round of peace talks with the Taliban in Pakistan

Pakistan: of peace talks and peace prizes

Pakistan has been locked in two key debates on the issue of peace recently. The first is whether there should be ‘peace talks’ with the Tehreeq e Taliban Pakistan. The second concerns Malala, the school-girl who survived the Taliban murder attack and was a nominee for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

War against polio or polio workers?

The Tehreeq e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) launched an effective and violent campaign against polio vaccination during their occupation of Swat. Apologists insist that this violence be viewed in the context of the 'war on terror', but refuse to engage with the connection, merger and impunity that the TTP’s narrative lends to other faith-led political violence in Pakistan.

Taliban: agent or victim?

In their attempt to assassinate girl-activist, Malala Yousufzai, has the Taliban inadvertently rescued the narrative of violence against women?

The political correctness of drone activism

Soft, anti-war interventions can end up endorsing conservative politics, if they are not strategically astute, says Afiya Shehrbano Zia

The gendered cost of NATO in Pakistan

Pakistan's Domestic Violence Bill has become the latest fatality in the barter between women's rights, NATO, and issues of national security, says Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Female suicide bombings in Pakistan - what's in it for women?

Islamic militancy in Pakistan appears to be mobilising women suicide bombers as part of its religious trope. This trend unsettles the conservative divide between the public and private roles of women in traditional societies, and also attracts an anthropological defense of Islamist women's agency. The question remains: what's in it for women?

Two million dollars: a patriarchal bargain

The murder of two men by a CIA agent in Pakistan raised issues of masculinist national sovereignty and honour, and exposed the uncomfortable privilege that religious laws based on power, rather than religion, extend to men, says Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Pakistan: the liberals’ dilemma

During Zia’s years, liberal forces presented the most radical opposition to the theocracy-military collusion and oppression. Today, we witness a liberal democratic government, with a secular alliance that is paralysed and besieged by its lack of vision and inability to govern, says Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Donor-driven Islam ?

Collaboration between western academia and Pakistani women at home and in the diaspora has established a body of donor-funded research with an exclusive focus on Islam. Will development policies based on such research lead to any kind of liberation?
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