Please join the WGSS program for a lunchtime lecture featuring 2018-2019 Visting Scholar Zahra Lotfi. Lunch will be served.
Gender-based violence is common in Afghanistan, and appears to be rising: according to the Summary of the Report on Violence Against Women published by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, reports of violence against women rose by nearly 12% between 2016 and 2017. Beating women for supposed “disobedience” is too often an accepted and normalized practice, with religious and cultural justifications used to keep gender violence in place. In this talk, Lotfi will discuss the meaning of “honor” for men and women in Afghanistan, and how and why so-called honor crime is increasing through a close examination of three cases of honor violence.
Zahra Lotfi holds a PhD from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran in History of Iran in the Islamic Era. Noticing an absence of women’s voices and presence in historical resources, and dealing daily with women’s issues while writing her thesis in Afghanistan, Lotfi turned to the field of women’s studies: “I felt that the field of women’s studies could improve and promote the viewpoints, thoughts, and function of women activists as they defend women’s rights in Afghanistan,” Lofti says. After observing the prevalence of honor violence in Afghanistan in society and seeing videos of it on social networks, Zahra decided to focus her work on this critical issue, particularly on the disproportionate impact this cultural practice has on women. Zahra looks forward to sharing her work while at Northeastern with other scholars in the field.