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  • Runaway Women

    Torunn Wimpelmann

    Chapter from the book: Wimpelmann, T. 2017. The Pitfalls of Protection: Gender, Violence, and Power in Afghanistan.


    The chapter details the stories of three women inhabiting the contested position that had implicated the shelters in so much controversy—that of the “runaway” woman. The chapter traces the women’s fates and the many actors seeking to intervene in their cases. It documents how justice institutions often became mechanisms for reinforcing kinship control over female sexuality but in tenuous ways, forged out of contingent struggles and alliances. The stories of the three runaways show how difficult it was for individual women to escape family abuse in a setting where the subversion of family control over women featured as a principal transgression. Even if it was possible for some women to receive a sympathetic hearing in a government court, the paths they had to take to escape from abusive situations typically involved difficult choices that left them irrevocably tainted in the eyes of their communities and the law itself.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Wimpelmann, T. 2017. Runaway Women. In: Wimpelmann, T, The Pitfalls of Protection. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.32.f

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on May 16, 2017