2021 Three Minute Thesis

Award Winner

Recipient of the 2021 Three Minute Thesis Competition Award - Peoples Choice.

To go to the Graduate Student Award Recipients collection page, click here.

Presentation Type

Open Access Poster Presentation

Abstract

In Afghanistan, marriage is considered as something that completes life. It is very common to hear from Afghans that “without marriage, life and faith are incomplete.” Besides, the religion of Islam does not encourage celibacy. In fact, Islam states that the followers of Islam have legal rights to have sexual pleasure. Nevertheless, sexual intimacy is only permitted within marriage and sexual activity outside of marriage is considered illicit sex. It is considered adultery (Zena) that results in punishment. This is another reason why marriage is essential among the Afghan population, who are predominantly Muslims. That is why most Afghan parents try to get their sons and daughters married as soon as they can, so they do not get involved in any illicit sex. However, unfortunately, there are several practices and beliefs attached to marriage that violate Afghan women’s rights and their happiness, but these practices and beliefs continue unquestioned. This thesis project studies marriage practices, such as dowry, bride price, and “virginity ritual,” in Afghanistan through the perspectives of Afghan women who are married or engaged and live either in Afghanistan or in diaspora. Through interviews with 10 Afghan women between the age of 15-35, I analyze the importance of marriage practices in the patriarchal context of Afghanistan from the perspectives of the interviewees. I argue that marriage in the Afghan culture centers in patriarchy and gender hierarchy, and the different marriage practices assign Afghan women a passive role during the marriage related practices.

Start Date

12-11-2021 12:00 PM

End Date

12-11-2021 1:30 PM

Event Host

Graduate College, University of Northern Iowa

Faculty Advisor

Emily Machen

Department

Women's and Gender Studies Program

Department

Department of History

Comments

Heat 1, Group 2 - Elm Room, Maucker Union

Graduate Program: MA Women's and Gender Studies

File Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS
 
Nov 12th, 12:00 PM Nov 12th, 1:30 PM

The Problematic Practices During the Process of Marriage Proposal/Match Making

In Afghanistan, marriage is considered as something that completes life. It is very common to hear from Afghans that “without marriage, life and faith are incomplete.” Besides, the religion of Islam does not encourage celibacy. In fact, Islam states that the followers of Islam have legal rights to have sexual pleasure. Nevertheless, sexual intimacy is only permitted within marriage and sexual activity outside of marriage is considered illicit sex. It is considered adultery (Zena) that results in punishment. This is another reason why marriage is essential among the Afghan population, who are predominantly Muslims. That is why most Afghan parents try to get their sons and daughters married as soon as they can, so they do not get involved in any illicit sex. However, unfortunately, there are several practices and beliefs attached to marriage that violate Afghan women’s rights and their happiness, but these practices and beliefs continue unquestioned. This thesis project studies marriage practices, such as dowry, bride price, and “virginity ritual,” in Afghanistan through the perspectives of Afghan women who are married or engaged and live either in Afghanistan or in diaspora. Through interviews with 10 Afghan women between the age of 15-35, I analyze the importance of marriage practices in the patriarchal context of Afghanistan from the perspectives of the interviewees. I argue that marriage in the Afghan culture centers in patriarchy and gender hierarchy, and the different marriage practices assign Afghan women a passive role during the marriage related practices.