Women in Conflict: A Study of Afghan English Novels (With Special Reference to Khalid Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and Atiq Rahimi’s The Patience Stone)

Showkat Hussain


Wars are by and large man’s creation and women voluntarily or involuntarily get dragged into it. In any war-torn society women always have to face the pitfalls doubly. They as mothers, wives, sisters and daughters have to negotiate space for their men folk and silently live a life of troubles in their own way. Women are the most vulnerable section of any conflict driven society. Violence against women in a conflict and attacks on women conducted by either of the marauding factions of militias across the world are a war tactic, and it is always universally acknowledged fact that while women are punished for the aggressions they have endured; their perpetrators are absolved from punishment. Women are vulnerable to widespread violence during a conflict and face conflict related violence doubly, as part of civilian population and due to their gender. Afghanistan a country bereft of peace for almost four decades has seen her people suffer the horrors of unending conflicts. Like any other conflict zone, in Afghanistan the most potent tool of repression, as used in the theatres of political conflict, are rape, sexual humiliation and sexual torture as a message of retribution to the resistance movement. The land ravaged by warfare, gender conflicts, and poverty for decades altogether has pushed its women to the wall and left them to suffer silently. It also shows that sexual abuse is used systematically to demean the women and their community. The impact of conflict on family life of the women leads to violence within the family. Conflict has impacted the lives of women by reinforcing the patriarchy which aggravates the women’s social position. Stigma suffered due to sexual violence and detention in army camps also leads to change in the social positioning rendering women vulnerable to violence within family. 

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