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Lebanon

Message from our Syrian Sisters

"Despite navigating a world of constant disruption, Syrian women and girls living as refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon bravely share why and how they continue to challenge inequalities and stereotypes in order to realize peace. These women peacebuilders may be separated by borders and war, but they have a single message to the world: Syrian women have ambitions and capacities to make change." 

Source: https://giwps.georgetown.edu/

The Link Between Women’s Studies Programs and Grassroots Organizations in Lebanon, the Balkans, and the Palestinian Territories: A Comparative Study

Citation:

Toman, Cheryl. 2006. “The Link Between Women’s Studies Programs and Grassroots Organizations in Lebanon, the Balkans, and the Palestinian Territories: A Comparative Study.” Arab Studies Quarterly 28 (2): 55–67.

Author: Cheryl Toman

Abstract:

A primary goal of any women’s program is to create outreach opportunities beyond the university classroom in order to make a difference in one's community, whether at the local level or on the world stage. Thus, it is perhaps not a coincidence that strong Women's Studies programs have developed in Lebanon, the Balkans, and the Palestinian territories alongside successful women's activist groups. Together, they are able to work successfully despite the trials of functioning in conflict regions. This comparative study will analyze various women's organizations in these areas and their relationships with three Women's Studies programs in particular: The Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World in Beirut, the Center for Women's Studies in Zagreb, and the Women's Studies Program at Birzeit University in the West Bank. With a focus on work at the grassroots level as well as on research, these unique university programs in cooperation with women's associations not only aid women trying to survive and overcome the tremendous hardships of everyday life, but they are also playing an essential role, especially in the case of Lebanon and Palestine, in official policy making within their own governments. Lebanon, Croatia, and Palestine have been chosen for this comparison not only for their common ties to the Mediterranean, but also as home to multicultural peoples representing different stages of dealing with war and rebuilding. Although there are other conflict regions with women's activist groups that could be discussed here as well, Lebanon, Croatia, and Palestine stand not in particular since they are the only ones with well-established university programs in Women's Studies. The Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World in Lebanon and the Women's Studies Program at Birzeit University are the only two of their kind in the Arab world just as the Center for Women's Studies in Croatia is a model in Southeastern Europe.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Education, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Croatia, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2006

Gender in Crisis: Women and the Palestinian Resistance Movement

Citation:

Peteet, Julie. 1991. Gender in Crisis: Women and the Palestinian Resistance Movement. New York: Columbia University Press. 

Author: Julie Peteet

Annotation:

TAB:E OF CONTENTS

Contents

Introduction pg. 1

Research and Ethnography pg. 8

Women's Lives as Text pg. 15

Gender and Culture in Exile pg. 19

1948-1969 pg. 22

Althawrah the Revolution and Community Self-Reliance 1969-1982 pg. 27

Women in Exile pg. 33

The Palestinian Women's Movement Organization and Representation pg. 38

Nationalist Roots pg. 42

Striking Out on Their Own pg. 43

1936-1939 pg. 52

1948-1960 pg. 58

The 1950s pg. 60

Integration and Transformation pg. 63

Ideas and Action Political Consciousness pg. 67

The Multiplicity of Experience pg. 72

National Consciousness pg. 76

Class Consciousness pg. 81

Female and Feminist pg. 88

Mobilizing Women pg. 100

Step by Step pg. 104

Channels of Mobilization pg. 111

Mobilization and Crisis pg. 124

Ambiguous Status and the Life Cycle pg. 132

Obstacles to Mobilization pg. 134

Action Ideology and Gender in the National Movement pg. 142

Members and Friends pg. 143

Activism pg. 147

Militancy Femininity and Status pg. 152

Mechanisms of Control pg. 156

The National Movement on Gender pg. 158

Activism and Domesticity pg. 175

The Organization of Reproduction pg. 176

Domesticity and Activism pg. 183

Domesticating the Workplace pg. 200

The Loss of Autonomy and the Transforming of Gender pg. 204

The End of an Era pg. 210

The Aftermath pg. 214

Notes pg. 219

References pg. 231

Index pg. 239 

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Political Participation Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 1991

Lebanese Women Disability Rights Activists: War-Time Experiences

Citation:

Wehbi, Samantha. 2010. “Lebanese Women Disability Rights Activists: War-Time Experiences.” Women’s Studies International Forum 33 (5): 455–63. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2010.05.001.

Author: Samantha Wehbi

Abstract:

Dominant feminist scholarship in the West has tended to equate being Arab or Muslim with oppression and to negate the active histories of resistance of women in these societies. In addition, feminist and disability studies scholarship has largely omitted an exploration of the experiences of women with disabilities. This paper attempts to addresses these tendencies and gaps in the scholarship by presenting the findings of a case study adopting a critical disability research approach. The study explored the activism role and experiences of 14 women with disabilities and their allies working in various regions of Lebanon during situations of war. Relying on a feminist postcolonial analysis and focusing on the intersection of gender and disability in the experiences of the activists, several main themes emerged from the semi-structured interviews: awareness of oppression; mitigating the impact of oppression; and the balancing acts negotiating motherhood and activism.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2010

Daughters of Palestine: Leading Women of the Palestinian National Movement

Citation:

Kawar, Amal. 1996. Daughters of Palestine: Leading Women of the Palestinian National Movement. New York: SUNY Press.

Author: Amal Kawar

Annotation:

SUMMARY

"Based on interviews of the PLO's top women leaders in the Palestinian diaspora and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Daughters of Palestine provides the first examination of the full history of women's involvement in the Palestinian National Movement from the revolution in the mid-1960s to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process in the early 1990s. Going beyond media imagery, Amal Kawar reviews the women's social and political backgrounds to explain how they overcame the traditional gender roles pervasive in Arab societies and became involved in politics. She then focuses on particular periods in the history of the Palestinian movement, as it moved from Jordan to Lebanon, Tunisia, and the Occupied Territories. Issues covered include women's nationalist activities, their relationship to the male leadership, the impact of crises, and the upsurge of the Islamist movement. A consistent theme of this investigation is how conflicts and crises, inside and outside the Palestinian arena, challenge and frame the success of women's nationalist work. Daughters of Palestine highlights the dilemma of national liberation struggles that both promote and co-opt women's liberation aspirations" (WorldCat). 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Figures

Prologue

Acknowledgments

1. Three Generations of Women Leaders

2. AMMAN Early Years of Revolutionary Struggle

3. BEIRUT National Mobilization and Civil War

4. TUNIS Decline of Mobilization in the Palestinian Diaspora

5. JERUSALEM Women's Committees in the Occupied Territories

Epilogue

Appendix: Interview List

Notes

References

Index

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Occupation, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism, Peace Processes Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Tunisia

Year: 1996

'It Was Better During the War': Narratives of Everyday Violence in a Palestinian Refugee Camp

Citation:

Latif, Nadia. 2012. “‘it Was Better during the War’: Narratives of Everyday Violence in a Palestinian Refugee Camp.” Feminist Review 101 (1): 24–40. doi:10.1057/fr.2011.55.

Author: Nadia Latif

Abstract:

The distinction between what is commonly regarded as the routine of impoverishment and what is acknowledged and remarked upon as violence is increasingly being questioned in scholarship and public policy circles. Interrogating the distinction between routine and remarkable not only reveals the habits and relationships constituting everyday life as the site of violence, but also foregrounds questions of gender. Given that the everyday is shaped by a given community's norms regarding the gendered division of labour that produces and reproduces the conditions of the everyday, in what ways is violence as well as its experience gendered? This article examines this question in the particular context of Palestinian camp refugees’ lived experience of forced displacement in Lebanon. It explores the ways in which the violence used against Palestinian camp refugees draws on norms regarding masculinity and femininity shared by the refugees as well as their Lebanese oppressors. It also examines the ways in which Palestinian camp refugees’ everyday experience of impoverishment as well as the acknowledged violence of forced displacement, subjection to Lebanese military intelligence control, and participation in the armed struggle for national liberation are constituted by and constitutive of unequal subject positions of gender, class and citizenship.

Keywords: Palestinian refugees, Palestinian refugee camps, gender, violence, Lebanese civil war, the everyday

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Citizenship, Class, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2012

Can Women Break Through? Women in Municipalities: Lebanon in Comparative Perspective

Citation:

Sbaity Kassem, Fatima. 2012. “Can Women Break Through? Women in Municipalities: Lebanon in Comparative Perspective.” Women’s Studies International Forum 35 (4): 233–55. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2012.04.002.

Author: Fatima Sbaity Kassem

Abstract:

Gender inequality is a pervasive global phenomenon, particularly in the political sphere. Previous scholarship sought explanations for the low female representation in countries' development levels, political regimes and/or electoral systems. Some scholars searched for answers within societies' religious and cultural value systems or political culture. These arguments, singularly or combined, can explain the pattern and predict broadly female representation across countries of different income levels and political systems. However, they overlook observed variations in middle-income countries and cannot explain the presence of overachievers and underachievers. They also fail to explain variations within societies of the same religious family, or across political parties within the same country. Previous explanations do not fully account for observed variations in women's political participation, which begs for additional explanation, one that examines the primary institutional vehicles for individual advancement in the political world – political parties – and highlights the factors that determine parties’ support for women's leadership and nomination to public office.

My work on women in politics departs from prior scholarship in that it explains variations in women's leadership and nomination to public office by looking at party-level variation in religiosity across countries and political parties. Parties are the main vehicles for recruiting, selecting, and promoting women. They are gatekeepers for nominating them to public office. However, different parties offer women different opportunities. For instance, most of the five Nordic countries have social democratic parties with high shares of female legislators, indicating the important role they play in advancing women and nominating them to public office. Thus, not only do parties offer a plausible explanation for variations in female representation, but also in providing an answer to why are some parties superior to others in advancing women's political career.

Party variation in religiosity is the missing link in this body of research. I have argued elsewhere that as party religiosity increases, women's leadership falls within parties’ internal decision-making bodies. Party religiosity, as distinct from individual religiosity, is the extent to which religious goals penetrate political platforms. The qualitative and quantitative findings of in-depth research conducted in Lebanon, as a focused single country case-study, are robust and support the theory of party variation in religiosity and women's leadership. Further, in a separate and additional cross-national quantitative study using multiple cases, the theory is found to travel, hence allowing for generalizations and predictions. It is tested on 330 parties across 26 countries in the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe: 13 Arab countries, seven non-Arab Muslim-majority countries, and five European countries with Christian democratic parties plus Israel, the only Jewish state in the world.1 This permitted studying the influence of three world religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) on women's political leadership.

In this article, I take the extra mile and extend the theory of party variation in religiosity from women's leadership within parties’ inner structures to the logical ‘outcome’ of nominating women for public office. I move the research beyond the institutional party-level to the national and local levels of analyses and explore religiosity as the main explanatory variable for female party nominations to parliaments and municipalities. Other party-level characteristics of import to women's nominations include democratic practices and pluralism in membership.  The main research question posed in this paper is whether municipalities – compared to parliaments – constitute a breakthrough for women in politics. Lebanon serves as a useful a case-study with its multiparty system. A single country case-study makes it possible to investigate variations in female nominations within a controlled socio-political environment, while holding constant the potential influence of the political regime and electoral system. Nonetheless, the findings of field research in Lebanon support the focus on party religiosity as an explanatory variable for female nominations. It also reveals quite different dynamics governing female nominations for municipal as opposed to parliamentary elections. These findings point to a potential breakthrough for women seeking a career in politics.

This article is organized in three sections with an introduction, summary and concluding remarks. The introductory part covers the theoretical background motivating the main research question and lays out the variables and hypotheses to be tested. Section A examines patterns of female candidacy for parliaments. Section B focuses on women in municipalities in comparative perspective to parliaments. In Section C, I estimate a regression model for female nominations to parliaments and another one for municipalities. The findings support the theory of party variation in religiosity to explain variations in female nominations for municipalities. However, it is not borne out for parliaments. The concluding remarks highlight the main findings and provide supporting evidence that municipalities may very well constitute a breakthrough for women, if they choose a career in politics. Thus, responding positively to the main research question that this article poses: “Women in municipalities: Can women break through?”

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2012

Iraqi Refugee Females in Lebanon: De Facto Changes in Gender Roles

Citation:

Beydoun, Rouba. 2008. “Iraqi Refugee Females in Lebanon: De Facto Changes in Gender Roles.” Al-Raida 120-121 (Spring): 36–44.

Author: Rouba Beydoun

Abstract:

The year 2003 was a turning point in the Arab region. The Coalition Forces invaded Iraq causing the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the subsequent violence. This has led to a massive influx of refugees throughout the Arab region. Around 4.2 million Iraqis left their homes due to the violence in their country. Some two million have fled to neighboring countries, including Lebanon (UNHCR, 2007). Lebanon is also host to an estimated 400,000 Palestinian refugees who fled Palestine largely as a result of the formation of the Israeli state in 1948 (Shafie, 2007). Aside from Palestinians, Iraqis currently account for the vast majority of refugees in Lebanon (DRC,2005). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that around 50,000 Iraqi refugees are residing in Lebanon (IRIN, 2007).The Lebanese State is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, thus the vast majority of Iraqis have had to enter the country illegally (IRIN, 2007). A study based on a sample of 2,892 Iraqi individuals in Lebanon in 2007 indicated that 36.4 percent of the sample was female (DRC, 2007).Many factors in Lebanon and in Iraq affect the refugee woman’s role in society. What is expected of her and those around her often changes under emergency circumstances. This article explores the extent of these changes. It will hopefully benefit researchers as well as development agencies by providing insight into the daily expectations, hopes, and responsibilities of an Iraqi refugee woman or girl in Lebanon. The article also aims to bring the typical concerns of a refugee woman to the attention of her host community. 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2008

Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists

Citation:

Bloom, Mia. 2011. Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists. London: Hurst Publishers. http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/bombshell/.

Author: Mia Bloom

Abstract:

The ultimate stealth weapon, female terrorists kill on average four times more people than their male counterparts. But why are more women drawn to terrorism than ever before? Do women volunteer to be terrorists, or are they coerced? Does women’s participation in terrorism have any positive impact on their place in society?

In Bombshell, Mia Bloom seeks to understand what motivates women and to redress the gap in our understanding of women’s roles by interviewing women previously involved in terrorist groups. Bloom provides a unique and rare first-hand glimpse into the psychology, culture and social networks of women who become terrorists. Bombshell takes an in-depth look at women involved in terrorism in Chechnya, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

Drawing on primary research and secondary literature, Bloom examines the increasing role of women in terrorism, and considers what it means for the societies from which they come.

(Hurst Publishers)

Keywords: gender studies, terrorism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Terrorism Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2011

Mother, Lebanon & Me

"A visually striking meditation on loss and a perceptive political critique, this deeply personal work has two subjects: filmmaker Olga Nakkas’ ailing mother and the chaotic country where Nakkas was raised. Both fell sick in 1975, the onset of incurable depression for one and a bloody civil war ushering in deep divisions for the other. In this sequel to LEBANON: BITS AND PIECES (1994), Nakkas ponders the plight of the country she clearly loves while honoring the mother dear to her.

Pages

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