New project: Gender, Islam and legal orderings in post-US Afghanistan

LawTransform Affiliate Torunn Wimpelmann (CMI) in conversation with Siri Gloppen (UiB, LawTransform) about the new project “Gender, Islam and legal orderings in post-US Afganistan” (CMI). Project leader: Astri Suhrke (CMI).

This project will examine the relationship between gender and Islam in Afghanistan as it affects women’s rights and protections at a time when the country’s political order is being reshaped. US military withdrawal signals the decline of Western influence, and negotiations with the Taliban on a peace settlement suggest an increasing political prominence for conservative and Islamist forces. At this critical juncture, the rights that Afghan women can legitimately and realistically claim are deeply contested questions, both inside and outside the country.

Yet there has been little rigorous, empirical research into what we may view as the
discursive and legal-political infrastructure of women’s rights in contemporary Afghanistan. This project has identified two areas for in-depth empirical research in this regard: (i) the nature and constituencies of the local/national religious discourses that potentially frame how women’s rights are codified and implemented (or not) in practice, and (ii) the legal rights and protections that differently positioned Afghan women are actually able to access, particularly through the courts.

The project is a partnership between CMI and a leading Kabul-based center for policy and academic research (AREU) and is linked to a major research collaboration on Islamic law at the University of Bergen.

Project is funded by the Research Council of Norway.