Kinship, gender, and space. Aspects of the female lifeworld in Gilgit, North Pakistan
##My work is divided into three parts... I posed the question: What does one have to know about a woman in order to understand the opportunities and constraints that particular situations hold for her and to be able to interpret her actions adequately? To answer this question I emphasized three aspects:
- the network of relationships to which a woman belongs;
- the phase of life cycle she has reached;
- the quality of space in which she is located at a given moment.
These three aspects, which I group under the keywords, "relatives", "gender", and "space", are indispensable for the understanding and interpretation of any situation in which one might meet women and girls in Gilgit... These three dimensions, relatives, gender, and space, form a frame of interpretation, to which I refer as "the triangle of female life-world". In the concluding third part, "Pardah Landscapes", I focus on the symbolism of urban space and how it forms female perception and usage of this space under the circumstances of progressing urbanisation. By investigating different stages of the urbanisation and modernisation process, I show that one of its central characteristics is an extension of male-associated space. I interpret transgressions of women into male-associated territory, especially the bazaars, as one possible response to their reduced living space and restrained mobility... The primary goal of this work is to provide valid concepts and models for the previously neglected ethnography of female life situations in Northern Pakistan. It may be used as a point of reference for the exploration of female life-worlds in all of urban Northern Pakistan, Particularly for the numerous regions of transition that have recently lost their rural character and that are confronted with the challenges of modernisation and urbanisation.##