The Universal and the Unique in the Sufferings of Women in War-torn Afghanistan: A Study of The Writings of Khaled Hosseini
Keywords:War, Violence, Crimes against Women
The South - Asian country of Afghanistan has been devastated by war and insurgency for almost the last half century. Its strategic location in the region has caused it to become a pawn in power games of the West- first was the conflict between British India and Russia, then between the Russians and the Americans and eventually between Taliban and the US led NATO. Peace seems distant in this war ravaged country of rugged mountains and harsh winters. Perhaps it is the war which has caused the extreme poverty in the region. Or perhaps it is the extreme poverty that has caused the ceaseless war. In either case, according to Human Development Report on Human Development Index, Afghanistan today ranks 168 out of 186 countries surveyed, with the development index as low as 0.625. Its female share of employment in senior or middle management positions was found ‘not available’, female graduates in Science, Maths, Engineering not available’, child marriage rate as high as 35 and violence against women from intimate partner 50.8 % .
The plight of women in this conflict ravaged society has been captured by Khaled Hosseini in two of his novels: A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed. The aim of the present paper is (a) to identify the zeitgeist of Afghanistan as reflected in Hosseini’s writings (b) to study the unique and the universal in the sufferings of women in Afghanistan.
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