Unveiling Femininity: Exploring Women’s Representation in Selected Khowar Language Proverbs from District Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan


Jamshid Ahmad, Kifayat Ullah, Habib Ullah Nawab


Proverbs, referred to as linguistic nuggets, phrases, or pearls of wisdom, are brief and memorable utterances that communicate a small fragment of insight, truth, or counsel derived from the shared human experience. Proverbs have historically served as a means of comprehending a specific cultural community’s practices, traditions, values, goals, beliefs, and other aspects. This study explores the profound Chitrali culture by critically analysing several Khowar sayings to uncover their portrayal of women. This research provides a qualitative and textual analysis of 42 proverbs, using a purposeful sampling technique to select proverbs focusing on feminine themes. The sayings have been derived from Matalan Gurzain, a compilation of Khowar Proverbs authored by Afsar Ali Khan, and from a compilation by Degener (2022) and various oral sources. This study uses Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (FCDA) as a novel approach to examine the representation of femininity. The findings indicate that the majority of proverbs portray women in a negative light.