Sana Malik Noon

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Emory U.

Grant number

Gr. 10138

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Noon, Sana (Emory U.) "Intergenerational politics of women's rights activism in Pakistan"

SANA NOON, then a graduate student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded a grant in April 2021 to aid research “Intergenerational politics of women’s rights activism in Pakistan,” supervised by Dr. Michael G. Peletz. In the new millennium, anthropological literature on women’s agency in the Muslim world has presented nuanced frameworks of women’s piety as an alternative to liberal, secular autonomy. However, urban, professional women’s agency — across generations and among different age groups — is less explored in these discourses. This project explores a ‘third way’ beyond analytical binaries of secular/religious agency, by studying women who constantly innovate and strategize in response to changing circumstances imposed on them. By attending to activists at prominent women’s rights organizations in Pakistan, alongside ‘ordinary women,’ this project explores how women belonging to different generations and age groups contend with structural hierarchies and restrictions in their daily lives. In assessing continuities and changes in the women’s movement in Pakistan over time and across generation, this project highlights how the landscape of women’s political engagement in Pakistan can be better understood by attending to the strategies and tactics of activists who are part of formal rights organizations, alongside ‘ordinary’ women, whose everyday contributions to movements for social change are often ‘uncounted.’