Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Middle East

Cowboy of the World? Gender Discourse and the Iraq War Debate

Citation:

Christensen, Wendy M., and Myra Marx Ferree. 2008. “Cowboy of the World? Gender Discourse and the Iraq War Debate.” Qualitative Sociology 31 (3): 287–306. doi:10.1007/s11133-008-9106-0.

Authors: Wendy M. Christensen, Myra Marx Ferree

Abstract:

In this article we examine the debate preceding the most recent war in Iraq to show how gendered framing can compromise the quality of debate. Drawing on a sample of national news discourse in the year before the war began, we show that both anti-war and pro-war speakers draw on binary images of gender to construct their cases for or against war. Speakers cast the Bush administration’s argument for invasion either as a correct “macho” stance or as inappropriate, out-of-control masculinity. The most prominent gendered image in war debate is that of the cowboy, used to characterize both President Bush and US foreign policy in general. The cowboy is positioned against a diplomatic form of masculinity that is associated with Europe and valued by anti-war speakers, but criticized by pro-war speakers. Articles that draw on gender images show a lower quality of the debate, measured by the extent to which reasons rather than ad hominem arguments are used to support or rebut assertions.

Keywords: gender, Iraq war, News debate, Cowboy masculinity

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2008

Legal Violence Against Syrian Female Refugees in Turkey

Citation:

Kivilcim, Zeynep. 2016. “Legal Violence Against Syrian Female Refugees in Turkey.” Feminist Legal Studies 24 (2): 193–214. doi:10.1007/s10691-016-9323-y.

Author: Zeynep Kivilcim

Abstract:

Turkey hosts the world’s largest community of Syrians displaced by the ongoing armed conflict. The object of this article is to explore the damaging effects of a hostile legal context on female Syrian refugees in Turkey. I base my analysis on scholarship that theorises immigration legislation as a system of legal violence and I argue that the Temporary Protection Regulation and the Law on Foreigners and International Protection that govern the legal status of refugees in Turkey inflict legal violence on Syrian female refugees. This legislation keeps them in the regime of temporary protection and prevents their access to international protection. The temporary protection regime serves furthermore as the main determinant for other forms of legal violence inflicted by various actors. I explore the effects of the Turkish government’s inaction in terms of preventing and sanctioning the abuse of Syrian female refugees as unpaid sex and household workers. I show that the extended legal limbo on the conditions of employment of Syrian refugees secures female Syrians as the most precarious workforce for Turkey’s various sectors. Finally I claim that the forced confinement of Syrian beggars in refugee camps is instrumentalised for their disciplinary regulation.

Keywords: Legal violence, Syrian refugees, Temporary protection, Turkey

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, International Law, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Syria, Turkey

Year: 2016

Palestinian Women Negotiate Violent Conflict

Citation:

Holt, Maria. 2004. “Palestinian Women Negotiate Violent Conflict.” Al-Raida. 21(103): 26-30.

Author: Maria Holt

Abstract:

On 6 September 2003, Palestinian women in the West Bank town of Tulkarem organized a demonstration of more than 200 Palestinian, Israeli and international women to protest against the Apartheid Wall that is being built by Israel in the occupied territories. Their action should not surprise us as Palestinian women are well known for their active participation in resisting the occupation. Given the severity of their situation, they have little choice but to focus first and foremost on the national struggle. But does this mean that “women’s issues” will inevitably be sidelined? Are such concerns a luxury, to be attended to once the serious business of war is ended? 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2004

Where do Women Stand? New Evidence on the Presence and Absence of Gender Equality in the World's Constitutions

Citation:

Cassola, Adèle, Amy Raub, Danielle Foley, and Jody Heymann. 2014. “Where Do Women Stand? New Evidence on the Presence and Absence of Gender Equality in the World’s Constitutions.” Politics & Gender 10 (02): 200–35.

Authors: Adèle Cassola, Amy Raub, Danielle Foley, Jody Heymann

Abstract:

In countries around the world, constitutional protections of women's rights have provided a legal foundation to combat discriminatory laws, customs, and actions and a catalyst for advances in gender equality. This article draws on newly available data from 191 countries to analyze women's constitutional rights across the spheres of general equality and nondiscrimination, political participation, social and economic rights, family life, and customary and religious law. We examined how gender-specific and universal protections differed according to a constitution's year of adoption and last amendment, and identified regional patterns that persisted across all decades. Women were explicitly guaranteed general equality or nondiscrimination in 81% of constitutions, some aspect of political equality in 32%, marital equality in 27%, some aspect of work equality in 26%, and equal educational rights in 9% of constitutions. Protection of women's rights increased substantially between 1980 and 2011. As of June 2011, however, no constitution in the Middle East and North Africa guaranteed gender-specific protection in education, work, or marriage, and there were no guarantees of marital equality in South Asian constitutions. Of the constitutions that protected some aspect of gender equality, 5% stated that customary or religious laws could prevail over constitutional provisions.

Topics: Gender Equality/Inequality, Constitutions, Post-conflict Governance, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, North Africa, Asia, Middle East, South Asia

Year: 2014

Women and Political Leadership in an Authoritarian Context: A Case Study of the Sixth Parliament in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M., and Fatemeh Haghighatjoo. 2016. “Women and Political Leadership in an Authoritarian Context: A Case Study of the Sixth Parliament in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Politics & Gender 12 (01): 168–97. doi:10.1017/S1743923X15000598.

Authors: Valentine M. Moghadam, Fatemeh Haghighatjoo

Abstract:

When Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, presented his proposed Cabinet to the Majles (parliament) in August 2013, one issue brought up in social media was the strange silence of the women members throughout the intensive four-day sessions to assess the ministerial nominees' programs before the vote of confidence. None of the nine women parliamentary members (MPs) used the podium to object that the president had not nominated any woman as minister. Only on social media and Persian language television was there criticism for the absence of women ministers. Eventually, Rouhani promised to include a woman in his Cabinet and to promote women in middle managerial positions. Not only was this tokenism evidence of gender-blindness, but it also evinced historical amnesia, as it overlooked the intense campaigning for women's greater participation and rights on the part of the 13 women members of Iran's Sixth Majles during the reform era coinciding with President Mohammad Khatami's two terms (1997–2005). That parliament is notable for its commitment to political and cultural reform and for the caucus that agitated for women's greater presence. Among its accomplishments were passage of the UN's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); raising the minimum age of marriage for girls from puberty to 13; and removing the ban on single young women traveling abroad on state scholarships.

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, International Law, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2016

Gender and Travel Behavior in Two Arab Communities in Israel

Citation:

Elias, Wafa, Gregory Newmark, and Yoram Shiftan. 2008. “Gender and Travel Behavior in Two Arab Communities in Israel.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2067 (December): 75–83. doi:10.3141/2067-09.

Authors: Wafa Elias, Gregory Newmark, Yoram Shiftan

Abstract:

This research addresses the critical but understudied issue of gender differences in travel behaviors in traditional societies, in general, and in the Arab world, in particular. To avoid known problems of data collection, a careful and labor-intensive survey process was undertaken in two Arab communities in northern Israel. The data gathered through this process were analyzed by a variety of statistical means to reveal that rather stark gender distinctions in travel behavior exist. On the whole, men make more tours, spend more time traveling, make more stops, and spend more time at activities at those stops than women. Men disproportionately travel by private vehicle modes, whereas women disproportionately walk. In the communities surveyed, the amount of transit provided was low and had a correspondingly low mode share. This dearth of transit seems to impair women’s travel further. An extensive comparison of adult female and male tour frequencies was undertaken by using bivariate correlations and an ordered logit model. The most striking finding of this analysis was that 1/6th of Arab women do not leave the house to make even a single tour, whereas this proportion is 1/30th for men. The more nuanced statistical analyses revealed that demographic factors affect tour frequency differently for women and men. Effective policy interventions must consider these gender distinctions to address in the best way possible the travel needs of individuals in communities in the Arab world.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2008

Feminist Theory and the Failures of Post-9/11 Freedom

Citation:

Anker, Elisabeth. 2012. “Feminist Theory and the Failures of Post-9/11 Freedom.” Politics & Gender 8 (02): 207–15. doi:10.1017/S1743923X12000177.

Author: Elisabeth Anker

Abstract:

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, freedom was the dominant term used to describe the United States in national political discourse. It was articulated as sovereign power, unencumbered agency, and military triumph. “Freedom” eventually animated global violence, becoming a justification for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as for substantial increases in state surveillance. A significant body of feminist scholarship has interrogated the discourse of post-9/11 freedom, examining how the call to “free the women of Afghanistan and Iraq” legitimated the push for war (Bhattacharrya 2008; Marso 2007; Mohanty 2008). For these scholars, “freedom” transformed feminist concerns into tools of militarism and imperialism, while worsening living conditions of women across the globe. In this essay, I also examine the discourse of post-9/11 freedom from a feminist perspective, but I ask a different question: How can feminist political theory critique the discourse of American freedom and challenge its trajectory of sovereign and violent state power? In other words, I examine the discourse of Americans upholding their own freedom, rather than their quest to free others, and insist that feminist theoretical arguments are directly relevant to post-9/11 problematics.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism, Terrorism Regions: MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2012

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

The Gendered Nature of Education under Siege: A Palestinian Feminist Perspective

Citation:

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera. 2008. “The Gendered Nature of Education under Siege: A Palestinian Feminist Perspective.” International Journal of Lifelong Education 27 (2): 179–200.

Author: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

Abstract:

Military occupation affects educational space and places, transforming them into politicized, sexed, gendered, and racialized ones. The uncontrolled political violence in conflict zones causes psychological trauma, internal displacement and economic stagnation, and intersect to shape the gendered nature of education. This article is based on data collected from young Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories between 2004–2007. Its theoretical background departs from the perspective that women's education in conflict zones is simultaneously a site of empowerment, resistance, and victimization. As such, the article demonstrates that the personal is political, and highlights how education can be both a source of consciousness-raising and a powerful mobilizing force for young women while simultaneously being oppressive in nature. The results show that the covert and overt acts of political violence against Palestinians has transformed Palestinian gender relations in complex, contradictory, and diverse ways while both militarizing and violating their right to education. In addition, the article argues that the study of gender and education requires close attention to women's words and acts in order to identify revolutionary modes of resistance that are capable of promoting social justice. It concludes by arguing that the daily terror facing young women on their way to school, the systematic denial of school permits, and other actions that interfere with their right to obtain an education not only necessitates the re-conceptualization of education conceived as a neutral zone and separated from the politics of the state, but also requires a close scrutiny of the gendered nature of education under siege. 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Education, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rights, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2008

Women’s Rite: Gendered Nationalism and Palestinian Female Suicide Bombers

Citation:

Sabatello, Maya. 2005. “Women’s Rite: Gendered Nationalism and Palestinian Female Suicide Bombers.” In . Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois.

Author: Maya Sabatello

Abstract:

I place Palestinian female suicide bombers in the socio-political discourse on gendered-nationalism, challenge Western explanations for the phenomena by analyzing national narratives, and address the social construct of national identity and Other.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2005

Pages

© 2019 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Middle East