Unveiling imperialism: Media, gender and the war on Afghanistan

Carol A. Stabile, Deepa Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


The oppression of Afghan women by fundamentalist groups was barely addressed by the corporate media until it proved rhetorically useful for US elites to argue for military intervention as a means to liberate the women of that country. This article critically interrogates this claim, and analyzes media coverage of Afghan women before and after the US invasion on 7 October 2001. First, we present an overview of conflicts in Afghanistan, focusing on the US's economic and strategic interests in the region, and its role in supporting and funding Islamic fundamentalism. Attention to this context, absent from media accounts, is essential to understanding the plight of Afghan women in all its complexity. Second, we examine news frameworks and the ways in which Afghan women figure in imperialist agendas in a thoroughly Orientalist manner. Finally, we turn to the outcome of the war and the situation for Afghan women today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-782+785-786
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Afghan women
  • News media
  • Orientalism
  • US foreign policy
  • War on terror


Dive into the research topics of 'Unveiling imperialism: Media, gender and the war on Afghanistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this