Gender Representation (Women’s Rights) in Islam and Pakhtun Code of Life (Pakhtunwali) in Pakistan


  • Arab Naz Associate Professor Department of Sociology University Malakand, Pakistan.
  • Nasim Khan Mahsud Lecturer Department of Sociology AIOU Islamabad
  • Qaisar Khan Assistant Professor, Department of English University of Malakand
  • Tariq Khan Assistant Professor, Department of English University of Malakand
  • Waseem Khan Lecturer Department of Sociology and Social Work, University Malakand


Pakhtunwali, Violation, Socio-Cultural, Implementation, Traditions, Ideal Type


The current study is an anthropological investigation into the two ideal systems (Weberian concept); that is the Islamic Sharia’h and Pakhtunwali (Pakhtun code of life). The study is based on the first hand field oriented ethnographic information (about the ideal type system i.e. Pakhtunwali) obtained during a PhD study in 2009-10 using anthropological techniques including household survey, case studies, in-depth interviews and participant observation. In addition, the empirical data has been supported with the authentic secondary information in shape of books, journals, articles and newspapers etc. Similarly, the ideal type system of Islam has been comparatively analyzed with the culturally approved pattern of Pakhtuns in light of Islamic literature including the Holy Qur’an, the Hadeeth, Islamic literature, books, articles etc written by both religious scholars and anthropologists. The data has been collected during survey of 4425 households from 775 respondents on different issues related to women’s empowerment in Pakhtun society. However, the data related to women’s Islamic rights have been taken under consideration for analysis of the current study.A pure qualitative research approach and ethnographic design of writing is adopted to link the two ideal systems. The study concludes that there is a huge gap in the practice of Islamic Sharia’h and Pakhtun code of life among Pakhtuns where lives of the people are governed under traditional system of Pakhtunwali (including Pakhtun code and Riwaj) while Islam as an ideal type religion has been placed in the ideal form.






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