Voices of the Unvoiced

Voices of the Unvoiced

Women’s struggle for education in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan

By Shabana Shamaas Gul Khattak

This book describes the Pukhtun women’s educational struggle in the traditionalist Pukhtun society to succeed against the odds. The sample women call for Pukhtun feminism for their emancipation and empowerment in Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Hardback, 250 Pages


September 2024

, $110.00

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About This Book

This book focuses on Pukhtun women’s educational struggle in the traditionalist Pukhtun society to succeed against the odds in Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The study found higher education as a means of women's liberation – their struggle and experiences for higher education give them a unique position in their patriarchal culture. The province is dominated by the culture rather than the teaching of Islam. Therefore, people make decisions according to the Pukhtun culture and social values. Strong roots of patriarchy reinforced a religious misinterpretation that ‘culturalised’ Islam instead of Islamising their culture in the prevailing society. Both the stories of the book concluded patriarchy was the main cause of women's marginalisation, which further granted a fertile ground for the Taliban to sketch a strategic atrocity and ban women's education in the name of Islam in the Swat Valley.

Patriarchy and militarisation have been used as a tool for cultural governance of identity and maintenance of gender stratification by sharing common grounds of gender dynamics and women epistemology under liberal, radical Marxist/socialist, Islamic feminism and feminist peace and conflict theories of women security. Thus, the book discussed feminist approaches concerned about unequal opportunities in higher education that challenged the propagation of male-experience and knowledge.

The scope of the book is broad and focused on women empowerment and emancipation through education. It addresses issues related to young Pukhtun women from disadvantaged areas who aspire to get higher education. The main focus of the book is to hear Pukhtun women’s own voices while discussing the issues related to higher education.


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Author Information

Dr. Shabana Shamaas Gul Khattak is a woman activist, who wants to serve humanity, especially for women empowerment and emancipation.


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Table of Contents

Prologue; Acknowledgements; The Standpoint of the Author as a Researcher; PART ONE: WOMEN IN THE PUKHTUN SOCIETY; Chapter 1 - Contextualisation of the Pukhtunkhwa Society: Women and Education Perspectives; Chapter 2 - Historical Perspectives of Women’s Education in the Princely Swat State; PART TWO: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES; Chapter 3 - Gender, Feminism and Higher Education; Chapter 4 - Women and Education under Armed Conflicts; PART THREE: UNTOLD STORIES OF THE PUKHTUN WOMEN; Chapter 5 - Giving Voices to the Unvoiced; Chapter 6 - Voices of Pain and Terror; PART FOUR: TOWARDS EMANCIPATION AND EMPOWERMENT; Chapter 7 - Women’s Journeys for Empowerment; Chapter 8 - Genesis of Malala’s sisters for Peace-keeping and Peace-building; Epilogue; Bibliography


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