Sadaf Ahmad is an Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS. Sadaf completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Syracuse University in 2006. She is the author of Transforming Faith: A Story of Al-Huda and Islamic Revivalism Among Urban Pakistani Women (2009) and the editor of Pakistani Women: Multiple Locations and Competing Narratives (2010).
Gender has been a cross-cutting theme in all of her research projects. Each has intersected with various domains and has explored the relationships between gender, human agency, and institutions and ideologies. For instance, other than exploring religious revivalism among urban Pakistani women, she has also researched and written on indigenous women’s social movements, particularly the AASHA movement that culminated in the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010. She has published on gender-based violence in Pakistani cinema, exploring how acts of violence—slaps, rape—have played a role in reinforcing particular gendered ideas and a rape culture in our society.
Her current ethnographic research project is on Pakistani female police officers, where she utilizes an intersectional, postcolonial lens to understand these officers’ mandate, challenges, development, and the nature and effectiveness of their policing across rank and region, in relation to other actors, social structures, and diverse material realities; illustrating the need to move beyond simplistic explanatory tropes while also demonstrating that positive gender transformations at both individual and systemic levels, on the one hand, can take place side by side a reinforcement of the status quo, on the other.