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  • Upholding Citizen Honor? Rape in the Courts and Beyond

    Torunn Wimpelmann

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


    This chapter examines how the justice system dealt with cases of rape. Specifically, it looks at what appeared to be an unprecedented willingness by families to take rape cases to court, inquiring whether this meant a redrawing of relations of gender and governance in Afghanistan, a redrawing brought upon a reluctant government by mobilization from “below.” By examining a handful of highly publicized cases of rape—which were widely regarded as momentous in the way that they generated public demands for government action—the chapter ask whether the new “openness” surrounding rape in Afghanistan signaled a changed position for women. Would rape mean a violation of women’s bodily integrity—as opposed to an affront to their male relatives’ honor? It further ask whether we can gauge from these cases the contours of a stronger Afghan state. The answer to both questions is a qualified no.

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    Wimpelmann, T. 2017. Upholding Citizen Honor? Rape in the Courts and Beyond. In: Wimpelmann, T, The Pitfalls of Protection. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.32.g

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    Published on May 16, 2017