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The Making of Muslim Girlhoods in Pakistan


Abstract for Online Program Book (maximum 1200 characters including spaces)

Book workshop: Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia (University of California Press). The book challenges the prevailing common sense associated with calls for women’s and girls’ education and argues that such advocacy is not simply about access to education but, more crucially, concerned with producing ideal Muslim woman-/girl-subjects with specific relationships to the patriarchal family, paid work, Islam, and the nation-state. Thus, discourses on girls’/ women’s education are sites for the construction of not only gender but also class relations, religion, and the nation. The book is a genealogy of the figure of the educated girl which centers on three moments in the history of colonial India and Pakistan. For this workshop I am proposing the chapter that examines Urdu periodicals and policy documents published during the early decades after the political independence of Pakistan in 1947. The ideal educated girl in this chapter appears as a ‘future-mother’ who fulfils her responsibility to the nation as a biological and cultural producer of the next generation of citizens.