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What do women write about?
Urdu Writers' Workshop

. . . So, what do women write about? About love, modestly. About longing, delicately. Sajida Sultana said that using obscene language is wrong. But what is obscene? Sex? Emotion? The human body? Human desire? If all this is expunged from the canvas of women's writing, what is left? Sultana Sharfuddin said that contemporary Urdu writers lacked a women's perspective and lived in a world of illusion and fantasy, they did not present the reality of their lives. But given the seclusion of women and gendering of space, both material and ideological, what options do women have? Ashraf Rafi says, "I am not me. Another picture of me is set out." Fatima Taj says, "I don't write about sex or society but I am present in each piece that I write. It is my identity." Yet another writer said, "My lips are sealed but my heart is bubbling." Many women felt that both their voice and language had been taken away by men, that a writer needs experience and yet language is a limiting factor.

Jameela Nishat, Urdu