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Syria

Gender and Jihad: Women from the Caucasus in the Syrian Conflict

Citation:

Kvakhadze, Aleksandre. 2020. “Gender and Jihad: Women from the Caucasus in the Syrian Conflict.” Perspectives on Terrorism 14 (2): 69-79.

Author: Aleksandre Kvakhadze

Abstract:

According to media reports, hundreds of women from the North Caucasian republics, Georgia and Azerbaijan have migrated to jihadi-controlled territories. This article has a threefold aim: to discuss the motivational features of female volunteers from the Caucasus region, to describe their functional role, and to explain their limited involvement in the hostilities. The findings indicate that the motivation for most women volunteers from the Caucasus has involved family relationships; further, rather than participating in combat, they have served in various supportive positions.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Religion, Terrorism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, South Caucasus Countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Syria

Year: 2020

Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance

Citation:

Gilbert, Victoria. 2020. “Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance.” Politics & Gender, 1–28. doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000136.

Author: Victoria Gilbert

Abstract:

In the rich literature on women and conflict, many scholars have assumed that the outbreak of civil war suppresses women’s political involvement. However, during Syria’s civil war, there was significant subnational and temporal variation in the involvement of women in the institutions established by armed groups and civilians in rebel-held areas. Why were some Syrian women able to secure a place for themselves in insurgent governance? How were they able to influence the form of local institutions to secure a role for women? Bringing together the scholarship on social movements and rebel governance, this article argues that two factors determine whether women were able to mobilize politically during conflict: the organizational capacity of women and the strength and ideology of locally active armed groups. The article leverages data on local organizations and institutions in Syria, Syrian news sources, and correspondence with several women’s organizations operating in Syria in 2017. By doing so, this article strives to bring attention to the role of gender in the expanding literature on rebel governance. It also highlights the significance of armed groups’ ideologies, an aspect often dismissed in the literature in favor of a focus on material factors.

Keywords: gender, rebel, rebel governance, insurgent governance, civil war, conflict, institutions, Syria, conflict processes, comparative politics, women, middle east, institutional design

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2020

Depicting Victims, Heroines, and Pawns in the Syrian Uprising

Citation:

Szanto, Edith. 2016. “Depicting Victims, Heroines, and Pawns in the Syrian Uprising.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 12 (3): 306–22.

Author: Edith Szanto

Abstract:

During the onslaught of the Islamic caliphate on Kobanî, Syria, media outlets across the globe broadcast pictures of brave and often unveiled Kurdish women fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a quintessentially male force of destruction. The images of women fighting Islamist male aggressors aroused outrage, admiration, and pity among observers. But had all Kurdish fighters been male or had women fought for ISIS, viewers might have reacted differently. To examine some of the most widely disseminated gendered pictures and videos of the Syrian uprising in the media, this article draws on Mohja Kahf’s three categories, which typify how Muslim women, Arab women, or both are perceived by the Anglophone reading and viewing public: the first is victims; the second, escapees; and the third, pawns of patriarchy and male power. While this typology helps in examining gendered images of the Syrian uprising, it also obscures the socioeconomic realities on the ground.

Keywords: female fighters, media, Syrian uprising

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2016

Liberal Militarism as Insecurity, Desire and Ambivalence: Gender, Race and the Everyday Geopolitics of War

Citation:

Basham, Victoria M. 2018. “Liberal Militarism as Insecurity, Desire and Ambivalence: Gender, Race and the Everyday Geopolitics of War.” Security Dialogue 49 (1-2): 32-43.

Author: Victoria M. Basham

Abstract:

The use and maintenance of military force as a means of achieving security makes the identity and continued existence of states as legitimate protectors of populations intelligible. In liberal democracies, however, where individual freedom is the condition of existence, citizens have to be motivated to cede some of that freedom in exchange for security. Accordingly, liberal militarism becomes possible only when military action and preparedness become meaningful responses to threats posed to the social body, not just the state, meaning that it relies on co-constitutive practices of the geopolitical and the everyday. Through a feminist discursive analysis of British airstrikes in Syria and attendant debates on Syrian refugees, I examine how liberal militarism is animated through these co-constitutive sites, with differential effects. Paying particular attention to gender and race, I argue that militarism is an outcome of social practices characterized as much by everyday desires and ambivalence as by fear and bellicosity. Moreover, I aim to show how the diffuse and often uneven effects produced by liberal militarism actually make many liberal subjects less secure. I suggest therefore that despite the claims of liberal states that military power provides security, for many militarism is insecurity.

Keywords: critical military studies, desire and ambivalence, everyday, gender and race, insecurity, liberal militarism

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race, Security Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Syria, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

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

Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Living in War versus Non-war Zone Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing a Pharmacist Intervention

Citation:

Alkoudsi, Kinda T., and Iman A. Basheti. 2020. "Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Living in War versus Non-war Zone Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing a Pharmacist Intervention.Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy 16 (5): 689-98.

Authors: Kinda T. Alkoudsi, Iman A. Basheti

Abstract:

Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a serious health problem. In women experiencing PCOS, there are myriad physical and mental health consequences; anxiety/depression are commonly associated with this condition. Community pharmacists are in a pivotal position to identify and help women diagnosed with PCOS. Objectives: To investigate the prevalence/severity of anxiety/depression among females diagnosed with PCOS living in Syria (a war-zone country) and Jordan (a non-war zone country). Secondly, to evaluate the impact of a pharmaceutical care service delivered by a clinical pharmacist on participants’ anxiety/depression severity. 
 
Methods: Females, diagnosed with PCOS above the age of 16, were recruited into the study and randomly allocated into either the active or the control group. The active group participants received a PCOS pharmaceutical care service. This service involved the provision of verbal and written educational materials, with a special focus on diet and exercise. The control group participants received only standard counseling. Both groups were followed up for four months. All participants completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory at baseline and follow-up. 
 
Results: Data from study participants (n = 118) from both Syria (n = 60) and Jordan (n = 58) highlighted a high prevalence of anxiety (Syria = 95% vs. Jordan = 98%) and depression (Syria = 83% vs. Jordan = 65%). At follow-up, active group participants, from both countries, showed significant improvements in anxiety and depression mean scores (anxiety: Syria = 34.97 ± 14.8 vs. 30.47 ± 14.3, p < 0.001; Jordan = 26.93 ± 13.7 vs. 23.37 ± 15.2, p < 0.001; depression: Syria = 26.53 ± 12.6 vs. 22.93 ± 12.2, p < 0.001; Jordan = 17.70 ± 11.0 vs. 15.76 ± 11.1, p = 0.049). No significant improvements were evident for control group participants from either countries. 
 
Conclusion: Prevalence of anxiety/depression for females with PCOS living in Syria and in Jordan is high and calls for special attention by healthcare specialists and policymakers in both countries. Females, who received the PCOS pharmaceutical care service, showed significant improvements in anxiety/depression scores. Improvements were similar in both countries.

Keywords: polycystic ovary syndrome, war, anxiety, depression

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan, Syria

Year: 2020

Violence against Displaced Syrian Women in Lebanon

Citation:

Usta, Jinan, Amelia Reese Masterson, and JoAnn M. Farver. 2019. "Violence against Displaced Syrian Women in Lebanon." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 34 (18): 3767-79.

Authors: Jinan Usta, Amelia Reese Masterson, JoAnn M. Farver

Abstract:

This study used focus group discussions to explore 29 Syrian women’s experiences of being displaced refugees in Lebanon. Women reported intimate partner violence (IPV), harassment, and community violence. They experienced difficult living conditions characterized by crowding and lack of privacy, adult unemployment, and overall feelings of helplessness. Most frequently, they used negative coping strategies, including justification and acceptance of IPV and often physically harmed their own children due to heightened stress. Some sought support from other Syrian refugee women. Although the study did not address the root causes of IPV, the results shed light on women’s experiences and indicate that training them in positive coping strategies and establishing support groups would help them face IPV that occurs in refugee settings.

Keywords: refugee, crowding, Intimate partner violence, Syria, Lebanon

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Syria

Year: 2019

Marital Violence during War Conflict: The Lived Experience of Syrian Refugee Women

Citation:

Al-Natour, Ahlam, Samar Mohammad Al-Ostaz, and Edith J. Morris. 2019. "Marital Violence during War Conflict: The Lived Experience of Syrian Refugee Women." Journal of Transcultural Nursing 30 (1): 32-8.

Authors: Ahlam Al-Natour, Samar Mohammad Al-Ostaz, Edith J. Morris

Abstract:

Introduction: Marital violence increases during times of war. This study aims to describe the lived experience of marital violence toward Syrian refugee women during the current war in Syria. 
 
Design: A descriptive phenomenological research methodology was used to conduct semistructured interviews with 16 purposively selected Syrian refugee women residing in displacement centers in Jordan. Colaizzi’s steps of data analysis were used. 
 
Results: Four themes identified were identified: (1) Loss, insecurity, and suffering; (2) Shame and humiliation; (3) Justifying and enduring marital violence; and (4) Ways of coping with marital violence. 
 
Conclusion: The Syrian War conflict changed women’s lifeway and created a context for marital violence. Study findings suggests addressing marital violence during wartime and allocating resources to provide care and support of victims of violence in the displaced countries.

Keywords: transcultural health, women's health, phenomenology

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2019

Fighting about Women: Ideologies of Gender in the Syrian Civil War

Citation:

Szekely, Ora. 2020. "Fighting about Women: Ideologies of Gender in the Syrian Civil War." Journal of Global Security Studies 5 (3): 408-26.

Author: Ora Szekely

Abstract:

This article seeks to map and explain the sudden increase in the appearance of female combatants in the propaganda distributed by various parties to the Syrian civil war. Based on interviews and the analysis of online propaganda, the article argues that the importance of ideologies of gender to two of the four main participants in the Syrian civil war (specifically, the Kurdish Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, PYD, and the Islamic State, or ISIS) has rendered gender ideology an unusually salient point of ideological cleavage in the Syrian context. This has meant that other parties to the conflict, for whom gender ideology is less important, are able to easily signal their position in relation to other conflict participants by means of policies or actions relating to women’s participation in the conflict.

Keywords: civil war, gender, Syria, middle east

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Media Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2020

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