In a highly conservative society like Afghanistan, which is mainly governed by ancient codes of conduct and tribal laws, the discourse concerning the rights of women is primarily framed by misogynistic men. As portrayed by Nadia Hashimi in her book One Half from the East (2016), every aspect of women’s lives, from education to expression to movement, is monitored and checked by the patriarchy through the perpetration of rigid cultural codes of conduct for women. But even within such strict patriarchal domination, women can create space for themselves to subvert such repressive hegemony and articulate strategic resistance in a culture susceptible to violence. Hashimi’s meta-narrative debunks the totalitarianism and male chauvinism of Afghan culture through its protagonist who resists submission and becomes an instrument of transgression. Since women are aware of their marginal and subaltern positions in a repressive society like Afghanistan, they embody resilience and try to break their shackles. The present article, focused on One Half from the East (2016), highlights how the protagonist’s exploration of the uncharted territory of freedom forbidden for women by performing patriarchal norms like the bacha posh ironically provides a space for resisting patriarchy even while staying within its discourse.
Das, Avijit and Rai, Shri Krishan
"The Caged Bird Sings: Resilience and Resistance against the Afghan Patriarchal Culture in Nadia Hashimi’s One Half from the East,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
6, Article 16.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss6/16