Representations of Afghan women by nineteenth century British travel writers
Embargo Lift Date: 2017-09-15
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This thesis attempts to represent the life of Afghan women in the nineteenth century (during the Anglo-Afghan wars) through a qualitative and quantitative study of accounts by English travel writers using an Orientalist and travel writing discourse. The information collected and used in this thesis drives from more than 70 accounts by British travel writers (mostly military) who visited Afghanistan during the nineteenth century. The thesis offers a comparative study of the life of Afghan women according to region, ethnicity and class, since Afghanistan was (and is) a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual country, and the status of women changes when taking these factors into account. Like other women in the nineteenth century, the life of Afghan women was not easy. They were dominant in the domestic sphere; but they did not have the right to go out, to marry by their choice, and were expected to be secluded if they wanted to go out, despite some exceptions. This study aims to investigate the social status of women along with their contribution to the economy and war which remained largely unknown for patriotic reasons, with the investigation of Western Women‘s life in Afghanistan during the nineteenth century.