ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Bi Bi Ishrat HassanSubscribe to Bi Bi Ishrat Hassan

Women and National Liberation Movements

A critical evaluation of the burgeoning body of feminist scholarship on the expression of agency by women in conflict settings is undertaken in this paper, more specifically in the course of nationalist resistance movements. Patently, this strand of literature assumes significance, in that it seeks to challenge the masculinist exclusiveness of the mainstream literature on nationalism, revolution, and resistance that pushes women into political oblivion either as passive victims or as bystanders of their own history and that of their nations, rendering invisible their historical contributions. While acknowledging the need for shifting of scholarly lenses from an exclusive focus on the narratives of victimhood to the aspects of women’s agency, this paper—by way of revisiting the structure–agency binary in social theory—challenges the unqualified emphasis on agency and a comparative undervaluation of the deeply entrenched “structures” of local patriarchy, and the constraints that these prevalent structures impose on the capacity of the individual agent.

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