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

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Women s Question Revisited

Women's Question Revisited Babar Ali SINCE the publication of my article on the women's question in Pakistan "Elitist View of Women's Struggle in Pakistan" (EPW, May 14, 1988) I have been subjected to substantial criticism over the stand that I had taken in the article. Hamza Alavi ('Pakistan: Women in a Changing Society' EPW, June 25, 1988) has argued that I may have read Marx but certainly have not understood him as 1 have not been able to read the society and the social changes that are taking place around me. Alavi's piece is a fair exposition of the nature of changes in Pakistani society and how they affect women, but his appologia for the Women's Action Forum (WAF) seems propagandist and severely ill-judged. Kumari Jayawardena ('So Comrade What Happened to the Democratic Struggle?' EPW, October 8,1988) on the other hand, has raised some very important and fundamental political issues regarding the role and attitude of socialists towards democracy and towards feminism. In addition, I have been confronted by many women activist friends and have had to defend or explain what has been called the Babar Ali position on women, a 'position' which almost without exception has been criticised. The purpose of this article is to discuss and analyse the issues and the politics regarding the women's question in Pakistan today under democracy, with a woman as prime minister, itself, a significant event.

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