AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 6, Number3. August 2022                              Pp.113-127

A Non-Western Representation of the Third World Women in Nadia Hashimi’s A House without Windows

English Department, College of Education for Women
Tikrit University, Tikrit, Iraq

English Department, College of Education for Women
Tikrit University, Tikrit, Iraq 


Third-world women in western literature have often been depicted as submissive, illiterate, vulnerable, and having no identity. They are cast from the outside discourses, always entangled in the gaze of the west as being primitive. Yet the world is open to change with viable feminist female practices to enhance the accurate and exact image oe third-world women. Nadia Hashimi’s A House Without Windows is a manifestation of deconstructing the false stereotyped image created by the West writers through skillfully presenting the real pressing contemporary issues of Afghan women in their society with diverse forms of ordeals. This paper aims to reflect upon the significant differences between stereotypical western depictions of third world women— are portrayed in mainstream western discourses as weak and in need of help— and their representation by Non-Western writers. It further explores how the female characters can cope with life hardships and pass the closures with no fear despite the difficulties of living within the nonwestern codes of patriarchy and culture. Investigating Hashmi’s novel is significant because it presents an accurate depiction of third-world women together with a variety of their inspirational tales, correcting and changing the stereotyped western representation. This study elucidates the Transnational Feminist Theory as a remarkable framework for comprehending the gap between the global north and south to address the representation of third-world women. Consequently, dismantling the stereotypical images of women in the third world and the phony universalization of global sisterhood is investigated by reflecting upon the vivid pictures of strong women.

Cite as:

Mohammed, R. J., & Rasheed, L. A.  (2022). A Non-Western Representation of the Third World Women in Nadia Hashimi’s A House without Windows. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 6 (3) 113-127.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol6no3.8


Afshar, H. (Ed). (1996). Women and Politics in the Third World. Routledge.

Alexander, M. J., & Mohanty, C. T. (Eds). (1997). Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures. Routledge.

Barrett, M., & Phillips, A. (Eds). (1992). Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates. Stanford University Press.

Better Reading. (24 October 2016). Meet the Author: Nadia Hashimi ]Video[. YouTube. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw1Po0Nxw2M

Bulkin, E., Pratt, M. B., & Smith, B. (1984). Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism. Firebrand Books.

Dempsey, S. E., Parker, P. S., & Krone, K. J. (2011). Navigating Socio-Spatial Difference, Constructing Counter-Space: Insights from Transnational Feminist Praxis. International and Intellectual Communication, 4(3), 201-220.

Fernandes, L. (2013). Transnational Feminism in the United States: Knowledge, Ethics, and Power. New York University Press.

Goodreads. (n.d.). Nadia Hashimi. Available at   www.goodreads.com/author/show/7273667.Nadia_Hashimi

Grewal, I., & Kaplan, C. (2001).  Global Identities: Theorizing Transnational Studies of Sexuality. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 7(4), 663-679.

Grewal, I., & Kaplan, C. (Eds). (1994). Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices. University of Minnesota.

Grewal, I., Kaplan, C., & Wiegman, R. (Eds). (2002). Women’s Studies On Its Own. Duke University Press.

Hashimi, N. (2015).  When the Moon is Low. HarperCollins Publishers.

Hashimi, N. (2016).  A House Without Windows. HarperCollins Publishers.

Hasrat, M.H., & pfefferle, A. (2002). Violence Against Women In Afghanistan. (Report No. 1391). Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Hedge, R. S. (1998).  A View from Elsewhere: Locating Difference and the Politics of Representation from a Transnational Feminist Perspective. Communication Theory, 8(3), 271- 297.

Jahan, R., & Saskatchewan, R. (2018). Glimpses of Pashtunwali in Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hashimi’s A House Without Windows and Ackerman’s Green on Blue, (Published Master’s Thesis). University of Regina.

Kapoor, I. (2004). Hyper-Self-Reflexive Development? Spivak on Representing the Third World ‘Other’.  Third World Quarterly, 25(4), 627- 647. DOI: 1O.1080/01436590410001678898

Lazreg, M. (2019). The Eloquence of Silence: Algerian Women in Question. (2nd ed). Routledge.

Library of Congress. (1 December 2016).  Nadia Hashimi: 2016 National Book Festival  ]Video [. YouTube.   Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVReae6muUw

Mohanty, C. T. (2003). Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Duke University Press.

Mohanty, C. T., Russo, A., Torres, L. & Lourdes T. (Eds). (1991). Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Indiana University Press.

Mullally, S. (2006). Gender, Culture and Human Rights: Reclaiming Universalism. Hart Publishing.

Narayan, U. (1997). Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third-World Feminism. Routledge.

PolitySA. (15 September 2016). A House Without Windows  ]Video [. YouTube. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=F79rurPTBeY

Povey, E. R. (2007).  Afghan Women: Identity and Invasion. Zed Books.

Said, E. W. (1989). Representing the Colonized: Anthropology’s Interlocutors. Critical Theory, 15, 205-225.

Salman, M., Butt, M. H., & Mahmood, S. (2020). Violence Against Women in Afghan Patriarchal Setup Reflected Through Nadia Hashimi’s A House Without Windows. Pakistan Language and Humanities Review, 4(1), 23-33.

Swarr, A. L., &  Nagar, R. (Eds). (2010). Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis. University of New York press.

Vincily, R. A. (2020). Locked up for Zina: Women Convicts in Nadia Hashimi’s A House Without Windows. Journal of Xi’an University of Architecture & Technology, 12(4), 4157-4166.

Wahab, S., & Youngerman, B.  (2007). A Brief History Of Afghanistan. Facts On File.

Zairi, O. (2003). Arab Women: Different Culture, Different Feminism, (Published Master’s Thesis). Université de Montréal.


 Rouwaida Jasim Mohammed is currently an MA. Student in English and American literature at Tikrit University / College of Education for Women, Iraq.  She conducted  and participated in literary symposiums.  Rouwaida has an unpublished Novella, short stories and essays.  Novels and literary theories are her current study interests.
ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2219-450X 

 Lamiaa Ahmed Rasheed is a Professor of English and American Literature. Lamiaa specializes in modern novel and drama; her current position is an instructor at Tikrit University / College of Education for Women. She has published extensively as author and co-author of over 60 papers in highly regarded, peer-reviewed journals. She frequently speaks and participates at international conferences. ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5581-842X