Weapon of the Weak: Women’s Activism and Technology in The City Always Wins


  • Imdad Ullah Khan Department of English, University of Swat, KP, Pakistan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7933-901X
  • Saad Salman MPhil Scholar, Department of English, Khushal Khan Khattak University, Pakistan
  • Qamar ul Zia PhD Scholar, Department of English, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan


Arab Spring , Women's Activism , Revolution , Smartphones & Social Media , Social Movements , Digital Age , Gender Roles


In recent years, women's activism in Asia has received greater attention in literary production. The active involvement of women in instigating, propelling, and sustaining revolutionary activism has assumed a significant status to warrant in-depth analysis from a female gender perspective. This article examines The City Always Wins by Omar Robert Hamilton as an innovative novel depicting the role of women in urban uprisings, particularly during the Arab uprisings of 2011. Drawing on James Scott's (1985) construct of the "weapon of the weak," it explores how technology, specifically smartphones, became central to the activism of female characters in the novel. The analysis involves a close textual reading of the novel, considering the fragmented narration of the novel and the representation of social media as a tool for organizing protests. The article looks at how Mariam's character is used to represent women's activism, highlighting the innovative ways she utilizes technology to oppose more potent oppressive forces. Examining how propaganda and fake news play out in the book against the struggles of the main characters, this article shows how power dynamics shift when even the most vulnerable people have access to powerful technologies.


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How to Cite

Khan, I. U., Salman, S., & Zia, Q. ul. (2024). Weapon of the Weak: Women’s Activism and Technology in The City Always Wins. Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies, 24(1), 123–137. Retrieved from https://socialsciencejournals.pjgs-ws.com/index.php/PJGS/article/view/757