From 24/7 To 9-5: The Co-Optation And Indigenization1 Of Feminism By Women Rights NGOS In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Keywords:Women’s Rights Movement, Women NGOs, Feminism, Feminist Activism
The study explores the nature and form of the contemporary women's rights movement utilizing a contextual understanding of feminist activities accentuated by selected women NGOs. The thematic working areas of these organizations were aimed to gauge the status of women in the region to see how coherent and impactful the women’s movement is to achieve its goals in the presence and pressure of government and donor policies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 participants working in Peshawar-based women/feminist NGOs using the purposive sampling technique. Herbert Blummer's theoretical model of stages of social movements was used to validate the findings. The study findings revealed that the contemporary women's rights movement in the region of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is diverse, fragmented and its existence is dependent on the efforts made by individuals and organizations. Furthermore, the women's rights struggle has been NGOized because NGOs are donors dependent for their activities, and volunteerism became a rare virtue as feminism is commercialized and carried out mostly for social media stories and for attacking more funding for the NGOs. Street activism which used to be the backbone of the Pakistani women’s movement has now changed into paid activism. In short, the definition of the contemporary women's rights movement is different from the water-tight definition discussed in the textbooks. It is rudimentary that may potentially be evolved into a vibrant and organized movement subject to favorable circumstances.
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