Are transwomen real women?

The remarks of Nigerian writer Chimimanda Ngozi Adiche have created some controversy this week, as she appeared to state that trans women (where someone born biologically male identifies with a female gender identity and lives life as a woman), on account of biology, cannot be considered “women.” “When people talk about, ‘are trans women women’ […]

On “Lightly Beating” Your Wife

Yesterday the Council of Islamic Ideology, an advisory committee on all matters Islamic to the Pakistani Government (which was only meant to be formed for ten years but has never been disbanded), came up with its own “Women’s Protection Bill”. This 136-page treatise is in response to the laudatory Punjab Government’s Women’s Protection Bill, which […]

Pakistani women and national defense

The way nations wage war, make peace and protect their borders has changed immeasurably over the last fifty years, and Pakistan, at the forefront of today’s conflict zones, cannot remain immune to these changes. One of the fundamental transitions in this respect is the growing recognition by global security experts of the ways that war […]

Daddy’s Boy

Very little fanfare’s been made of Shandana Minhas’s third book, published last month by Harper Collins India. Strange, because this Karachi-based writer’s work is very well known in Pakistan, and received acclaim: her first, Tunnel Vision, was nominated for the Commonwealth First Book award, while her second, Survival Tips for Lunatics, won the French Fiction […]


When you hear about child marriages taking place in rural areas of Pakistan, you sometimes wonder what kind of mother would allow her underage child to be married to an adult man, whether ten or twenty or fifty years older than the child. All too often it’s a woman who was also married to an […]