Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Iraq

"We Want to be Remembered as Strong Women, Not as Shepherds": Women Anfal Survivors in Kurdistan-Iraq Struggling for Agency and Acknowledgement

Citation:

Mlodoch, Karin. 2012. “We Want to be Remembered as Strong Women, Not as Shepherds”: Women Anfal Survivors in Kurdistan-Iraq Struggling for Agency and Acknowledgement.” Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 8 (1): 63-91.

Author: Karin Mlodoch

Abstract:

This article focuses on Kurdish women in Iraq who survived the Iraqi army’s Anfal operations against the Kurdish areas in 1988. It investigates Iraqi Kurdish women’s psychosocial situation and strategies for coping with violence and loss in the aftermath of the Anfal operations. These strategies are largely shaped by social and economic factors and gender relations and in the traditional patriarchal context of rural Kurdish society. The article further explores the transformation of the women’s situation and narratives through the recent political changes in Iraq and shows the conflict between their memories, narratives, and agency, on one hand, and the hegemonic discourse on victimhood in Kurdistan-Iraq today, on the other, as well as the interweaving of their individual coping strategies and the institutional processes for dealing with the past in Kurdistan and Iraq. Thus the paper contributes to socially and politically contextualized and gender-sensitive trauma research, as well as to the larger political and sociological debate on reconciliation processes after war and conflict.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Trauma, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2012

From Homoerotics of Exile to Homopolitics of Diaspora: Cyberspace, the War on Terror, and the Hypervisible Iranian Queer

Citation:

Shakhsari, Sima. 2012. “From Homoerotics of Exile to Homopolitics of Diaspora: Cyberspace, the War on Terror, and the Hypervisible Iranian Queer.” Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 8 (3): 14-40.

Author: Sima Shakhsari

Abstract:

In this essay, I argue that during the post-September 11th “war on terror,” the Iranian homosexual became transferred from the position of the abject to the representable subject in transnational political realms. This shift involves Iranian opposition groups, transnational media, the “gay international” (in the words of Joseph A. Massad), and some Iranian diasporic queers who willingly insert themselves into national imaginations of the opposition in diasporic reterritorializations. This hypervisibility is enabled by massive mobilizations of universalized sexual identities on the Internet, discourses of protectorship, valorizations of mobility in cyberspace and diasporic imaginations, and the political and economic opportunities for neoliberal entrepreneurship and expertise during the war on terror. In this process, the normative Iranian homosexual is produced as a victim of backward homophobic Iranian-ness, awaiting representation and liberation by new media technologies, while the Iranian citizen is disciplined through cybergovernmentality as a heterosexual subject who is expected to reject tradition, tolerate or defend homosexuals, and avoid perversion.

Topics: Conflict, Ethnicity, Media, LGBTQ, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2012

Cleansing the Caliphate: Insurgent Violence against Sexual Minorities

Citation:

Tschantret, Joshua. 2018. "Cleansing the Caliphate: Insurgent Violence against Sexual Minorities." International Studies Quarterly 62 (2): 260-73.

Author: Joshua Tschantret

Abstract:

Why do insurgents target certain groups for extermination? Despite a great deal of attention to the targeting of civilian ethnic minorities, comparatively little scholarship exists on insurgent violence against sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual individuals). This article maintains that the decision to target sexual minorities follows three distinct logics: two strategic and one ideological. First, insurgents face an incentive to outbid rivals by targeting sexual minorities when homophobic violence is politically and socially legitimated. Second, territorial control creates an incentive for insurgents to signal their ability to selectively punish, which they can accomplish through homophobic violence. Third, revolutionary ideologies provide legitimation for exclusionary violence in the pursuit of transforming society. Statistical analysis of insurgent violence against sexual minorities from 1985 to 2015 lends strong support for these arguments. Process tracing of the spread of violence against sexual minorities in Iraq and Syria clarifies the strategic causal mechanisms. When progovernment militias targeted perceived homosexuals with impunity, antigay violence was adopted by insurgent groups seeking to legitimize their claims to power; violence then quickly spread to competing insurgents. Two additional cases from Latin America demonstrate that ideology plays an important role in influencing which groups embrace homophobic violence even under these strategic constraints.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militias, Sexuality, Violence Regions: MENA, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Colombia, Iraq, Peru, Syria

Year: 2018

Women's War: Gender Activism in the Vietnam War and in the Wars for Kurdish Autonomy

Citation:

Chaguri, Mariana Miggiolaro, and Flávia X. M. Paniz. 2019. "Women's War: Gender Activism in the Vietnam War and in the Wars for Kurdish Autonomy." Sociologia & Antropologia 9 (3): 895-918.

Authors: Mariana Miggiolaro Chaguri, Flávia X. M. Paniz

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This paper debates women’s activism in two events: the Vietnam War (1954-1975) and the historical Kurdish struggle for autonomy (known as “Kurdish question”). We hypothesize that the reorganization of gender roles during the conflicts marks the meanings of wars and configures what we call a woman for the times of war, that is, a woman who transits across the spaces of public confrontation, armed conflict and domesticity. The approach outlined here is structured into three parts: the first and the second ones present aspects of both conflicts by pointing to possible convergences and differences between them; we also present the variety of networks of participation and activism of women in both cases. In the third and final part, we discuss the interfaces among the production of gender, war, and ideas, crossing a manifold of narratives, experiences, and stories that reveal different dimensions of wars and nations, and the diversity of the regimes of ideas that attached to them.

PORTUGUESE ABSTRACT:
Este artigo problematiza a participação e debate o ativismo de mulheres em dois eventos: a Guerra do Vietnã (1954-1975) e as guerras pelo Curdistão (1923 em diante). Como hipótese, sustentamos que tais lutas podem ser lidas a partir do esforço comum de tornar inteligível e nomear um conjunto variado de experiências que, reorganizadas a partir ou em função do conflito armado, produzem novas mediações entre gênero e nação. O artigo está dividido em três partes: nas duas primeiras, são apresentados aspectos dos dois conflitos apontando eventuais convergências e diferenças; na sequência, observam-se as variadas formas de participação e de ativismo de mulheres existentes nos dois casos; finalmente, são debatidas as interfaces entre a produção do gênero, da guerra e das ideias, percorrendo uma multiplicidade de narrativas, experiências e relatos que apontam para a dimensão heterogênea das guerras, das nações e, portanto, do regime de ideias que deve acompanhá-las.

Keywords: gender, war, nation and nationalism, post-colonial feminism, gênero, guerra, nação e nacionalismo, feminismo pós-colonial

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Nationalism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia Countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

Year: 2019

The Contribution of Mental Health and Gender Attitudes to Intimate Partner Violence in the Context of War and Displacement: Evidence from a Multi-Informant Couple Survey in Iraq

Citation:

Goessmann, Katharina, Hawkar Ibrahim, Laura Bebra Saupe, Azad Ali Ismail, and Frank Neuner. 2019. "The Contribution of Mental Health and Gender Attitudes to Intimate Partner Violence in the Context of War and Displacement: Evidence from a Multi-Informant Couple Survey in Iraq." Social Science & Medicine 237.

Authors: Katharina Goessmann, Hawkar Ibrahim, Laura Bebra Saupe, Azad Ali Ismail, Frank Neuner

Abstract:

Rationale: Intimate partner violence is a prevalent issue in refugee and internally displaced populations in postwar and migration settings including camps in the Middle East. In this context, partner violence has been associated with war-related trauma, camp factors, individual characteristics, and gender attitudes. 
 
Objective: With a dual-informant survey among a sample of Iraqi couples residing in a camp for displaced people in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (N = 92) this study investigated the relationship between war-related psychopathology, attitudes towards women, and male-perpetrated partner violence. 
 
Method: Moderated regression analysis was applied using information from both partners to predict partner violence reported by wives. 
 
Results: Over 58% of the women in this sample reported past-year exposure to partner violence. Further analyses revealed significant main effects of men's self-reported psychopathology (posttraumatic stress disorder and depression) and their own gender attitudes on partner violence. In a multivariate regression, moderating effects were found, as higher psychopathology levels and inequitable gender attitudes in men interacted in the prediction of male-perpetrated partner violence. 
 
Conclusions: This study highlights the high prevalence of partner violence among Iraqi displaced women. In addition, the results show an interplay of several violence-impelling factors in war-affected men. This emphasizes the importance of addressing both mental health issues and gender attitudes in the efforts to reduce or end violence against women in post-war settings.

Keywords: Iraq, Intimate partner violence, forced displacement, traumatic, experiences, mental health, gender attitudes, moderated regression analysis

Topics: Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Domestic Violence, Gender, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Post-Conflict Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2019

The Political Economy of Gender and Peacebuilding

Citation:

Chilmeran, Yasmin, and Jacqui True. 2019. "The Political Economy of Gender and Peacebuilding." In Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding, edited by Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, 323-38. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Authors: Yasmin Chilmeran, Jacqui True

Abstract:

UNSCR 1325 and subsequent Security Council resolutions emphasise the importance of women’s participation in peace processes and peacebuilding to ensure the sustainability of peace and prevent the recurrence of conflict. However, in post-conflict contexts, gender inequalities are heightened, contributing to women’s vulnerability to gender-based violence and structural violence. This chapter applies a feminist political economy framework to examine women’s experiences of these forms of violence. Through an analysis of the post-occupation Iraq case we explore: (1) the political economy causes of women’s insecurity, and (2) the consequences of this insecurity for women’s participation in the peacebuilding process. We examine the types of peacebuilding women are involved in and why they are often excluded from major peacebuilding decisions with implications for the failure to adequately address conflict-related gendered violence. In particular, we consider the work that women are doing to address violence and insecurity within their communities outside of state-sanctioned processes. Above all, the case of Iraq demonstrates that there is an inextricable connection between the gendered experience of insecurity and unequal gendered forms of post-conflict participation.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Conflict Prevention, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2019

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Major Depressive Disorder Among Women at Public Antenatal Clinics from Refugee, Conflict-Affected, and Australian-Born Backgrounds

Citation:

Rees, Susan J., Jane R. Fisher, Zachary Steel, Mohammed Mohsin, Nawal Nadar, Batool Moussa, Fatima Hassoun, Mariam Yousif, Yalini Krishna, Batoul Khalil, Jok Mugo, Alvin Kuowei, Louis Klein, and Derrick Silove. 2019. "Prevalence and Risk Factors of Major Depressive Disorder Among Women at Public Antenatal Clinics from Refugee, Conflict-Affected, and Australian-Born Backgrounds." JAMA Network Open 2 (5).

Authors: Susan J. Rees, Jane R. Fisher, Zachary Steel, Mohammed Mohsin, Nawal Nadar, Batool Moussa, Fatima Hassoun, Mariam Yousif, Yalini Krishna, Batoul Khalil, Jok Mugo, Alvin Kouwei Tay, Louis Klein, Derrick Silove

Abstract:

Importance: Pregnancy may increase the risk of depression among women who self-identify as refugees and have resettled in high-income countries. To our knowledge, no large systematic studies among women with refugee backgrounds in the antenatal period have been conducted.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), trauma exposure, and other psychosocial risk factors among women who identify as refugees, women from the same conflict-affected countries, and women from the host nation and to test whether self-identification as a refugee indicates greater likelihood of prevalence and risk.

Design, Setting and Participants: This cross-sectional study was undertaken in 3 public antenatal clinics in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, between January 2015 and December 2016. Overall, 1335 women (685 consecutively enrolled from conflict-affected backgrounds and 650 randomly selected from the host nation) participated. Data analysis was undertaken between June and September 2018.

Exposures: One-hour interviews covering mental health, intimate partner violence, and other social measures.

Main Outcome and Measures: World Health Organization measure for intimate partner violence and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) for MDD. To make a diagnosis, 1 of 2 items relating to being consistently depressed for 2 weeks and 3 further symptoms that cause personal distress or psychosocial dysfunction were endorsed.

Results: Overall, 1335 women (84.8% overall response rate), comprising 685 (51.3%) from conflictaffected countries (women self-identifying as refugees: 289 [42.2%]) and 650 (48.7%) from the host nation, participated. The mean (SD) age was 29.7 (5.4) years among women from conflictaffected backgrounds and 29.0 (5.5) years among women born in the host nation. Conflict-affected countries included Iraq (260 [38.0%]), Lebanon (125 [18.2%]), Sri Lanka (71 [10.4%]), and Sudan (66 [9.6%]). Women who identified as refugees reported higher exposure to 2 to 3 (67 [23.2%]) and 4 or more (19 [6.6%]) general traumatic events compared with women from the host nation (103 [15.8%] and 21 [3.2%], respectively). Women who identified as refugees also reported higher exposure to 1 (147 [50.9%]) and 2 or more (97 [33.6%]) refugee-related traumatic events compared with women from the host nation (86 [13.2%] and 20 [3.1%], respectively). Women who identified as refugees reported higher rates of psychological intimate partner violence than women born in the host nation (124 [42.9%] vs 133 [20.5%]; P < .001). Women who identified as refugees were less likely to identify 5 or more supportive family or friends compared with women born in the host nation (36 [12.5%] vs 297 [45.7%]; P < .001). A greater proportion of women who identified as refugees reported experiencing 3 or more financial stressors compared with women born in the host nation (65 [22.5%] vs 41 [6.3%]; P < .001). Women who identified as refugees had the highest prevalence of MDD (94 [32.5%]), followed by women from other conflict-affected backgrounds (78 [19.7%]), and women born in the host nation (94 [14.5%]).

Conclusion and Relevance: Women identifying as refugees reported a higher prevalence of MDD and all the indicators of adversity related to that disorder. Even after risk factors were accounted for, refugee status was associated with risk of MDD. Assessing whether women attending an antenatal clinic self-identify as refugees may offer an important indicator of risk of MDD and a range of associated psychosocial adversities.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Trauma Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Oceania Countries: Australia, Iraq, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan

Year: 2019

Response to and Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Iraq: The Case of Shi'a Turkmen Survivors in Tel Afar

Citation:

Bor, Güley. 2019. Response to and Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Iraq: The Case of Shi'a Turkmen Survivors in Tel Afar. London: London School of Economics Middle East Centre.

Author: Güley Bor

Abstract:

Conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) has been widespread in Iraq during the most recent Islamic State conflict. Thousands of Yazidi and hundreds of Shiʿa Turkmen women and girls were subjected to various forms of CRSV, including sexual slavery and forced marriages. Survivors need, demand and have a right to emergency responses as well as reparations. However, an overview of the situation of Shiʿa Turkmen survivors who returned to Tel Afar demonstrates how the Government of Iraq’s inaction, together with its discriminatory laws and practices, continue to fail women, and survivors in particular. Shiʿa Turkmen survivors must be provided with timely, comprehensive and survivor-centric medical, legal, economic services and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), while community-oriented programmes must address the high levels of stigma to which survivors are subjected. To address the medical, psychological and social harms arising from CRSV, complex reparation programmes (both urgent and comprehensive) should be designed and implemented through effective survivor consultation, by ensuring that all survivors are included in their scope. While the recent reparations bill is a step in the right direction, Iraq is in urgent need for wider reform in addressing sexual violence and ensuring its non-repetition.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Governance, Health, Mental Health, Justice, Reparations, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2019

Women and Peace-Building in Iraq

Citation:

Khodary, Yasmin M. 2016. "Women and Peace-Building in Iraq." Peace Review 28, (4): 499-507.

 

Author: Yasmin M. Khodary

Annotation:

Summary:
This article reviews the literature on women and peace-building, at large, which then moves to illustrating women's roles and initiatives in peace-building in Iraq in particular. In doing so, the author employs a qualitative methodology that combines review of literature and documents with in-depth interviews with four activists and members of Iraqi women civil-society organizations. Based on the literature review and the interviews, the essay draws on a set of lessons learned to strengthen peace-building knowledge and actions.

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacebuilding Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2016

Traumatic Stress Among Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees from the Middle East, North African, and Asia who Fled to the European Union

Citation:

Alessi, Edward J., Sarilee Kahn, Leah Woolner, and Rebecca Van Der Horn. 2018. "Traumatic Stress Among Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees From the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Who Fled to the European Union." Journal of Traumatic Stress 31 (6): 805-15.

Authors: Edward J. Alessi, Sarilee Kahn, Leah Woolner, Rebecca Van Der Horn

Abstract:

In 2015, more than 600,000 individuals from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan fled to Europe in search of protection. Among the most understudied of this population are individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). These individuals have not only fled war but also violence due to their sexual and/or gender identities. At the same time, LGBTQ individuals from other parts of the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and North Africa have also fled to Europe to escape persecution. The purpose of this multimethod study was to understand how traumatic stress shaped the experiences of 38 LGBTQ individuals who fled to Austria (n = 19) and the Netherlands (n = 19) from these regions. We assessed participants for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and conducted qualitative interviews to understand their migration experiences. Of the 37 participants assessed for PTSD, 33 (89.2%) reported that their most distressing event occurred prior to migration. For the 24 (64.9%) participants who met criteria for a provisional diagnosis of PTSD, 15 reported that the precipitating event was related to their sexual and/or gender identities and 9 reported that it was related to another type of event (e.g., war). Grounded theory was used to analyze qualitative data. Themes demonstrated that participants encountered targeted violence and abuse throughout migration and upon their arrival in Austria and the Netherlands. Findings indicate that LGBTQ refugees may be vulnerable to ongoing trauma from other refugees and immigration officials. Recommendations for protecting and supporting LGBTQ refugees during humanitarian emergencies are provided.

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Health, PTSD, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Austria, Iraq, Netherlands, Syria

Year: 2018

Pages

© 2020 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 - Iraq