“If We Stayed at Home, Nothing Would Change”: Gendered Acts of Citizenship From Mozambique and Pakistan
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This article investigates how women emerged as political subjects through protests in two post-colonial contexts: the Hazara women’s protests in Pakistan against ethno-sectarian killings and the Chiango women’s protests in Mozambique for road safety. Privileging the perspectives of two participants allows us to show that a critical outcome of these gendered protests was the process of political subjectivation itself. Triggered by grief, women disrupted their gendered and political habitus to make claims for the state to protect and provide, thus reimagining a more inclusive citizenship regime. Theatrical performances and the support of allies in the media, political organizations, and feminist groups helped to mitigate the risks of this disruption for the women. We find that their political action led to subtle empowerment in the private sphere, contributing to theorizing on the trajectories of women’s empowerment through collective action in the public sphere.