An Intimate & Complicated History of Women in Pakistan

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Asim Bukhari nervously sits close to his wife Nida, having just returned from their wedding ceremony, Aug. 18, 2003. Asim returned to his family in Pakistan where they have arranged his marriage.
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The contemporary struggle for women's rights in Pakistan has largely been told through the story of Malala Yousafzai, the young Nobel Peace Prize winner fighting the Taliban and demanding equal access to education for young girls and women.

But for women in Pakistan, Malala is an important but very small part of the story.

Rafia Zakaria is a Pakistani-American attorney, activist and author. In her new memoir, "The Upstairs Wife," Zakaria takes an in-depth look at the role of women in Pakistan, beginning with the women in her family, and what her family's story means for the story of modern Pakistan.

From a young age, Zakaria was raised in a culture where her value as a woman was intrinsically tied into marriage, her future husband, and the children they would have together. She started to question that mindset when her aunt's husband took a second wife without her aunt's consent.

As she tells The Takeaway, "What value is having children going to have in your life? What do you do if you fall in love with a man and he doesn't love you back? Is that a defeat in terms of being a woman? These are universal questions that draw all human experience together."