Thesis

The Soviet-Afghan War: female perspective and participation

The women of the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s have long been overshadowed by a predominant male discourse found in war reporting and historical studies. Moreover, a historical analysis has yet to be written that combines the experiences of foreign female journalists, Afghan women, and Russian women who were active participants in the war. In this analysis, their perspectives and experiences will be examined through various primary sources, such as interviews and poetry, in order to demonstrate their activism and the greater need for further studies on women in times of war. Female experiences will demonstrate the failures of the socialist reforms to achieve equality and empowerment for women in Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. In addition, women of the Soviet-Afghan war responded to the socio/economic challenges that were created as a result of war and the socialist agenda with resourcefulness and activism, and it is vital that their voices be studied because they can help form a richer image of both societies of the conflict. Women have unique perspectives and experiences that are influenced by their responsibilities in the domestic and social spheres that are often quite different than men. Therefore, women can add to the narrative of the conflict if they are given the opportunity to do so. A comparative analysis of women from various global conflicts will demonstrate common challenges with the women of the Soviet-Afghan war, and will further emphasize the need for world leaders, the media, and academics to focus on the plight of women.

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