Understanding Women's Experience of Violence and the Political Economy of Gender in Conflict: The Case of Syria


Alsaba, Khuloud, and Anuj Kapilashrami. 2016. "Understanding Women's Experience of Violence and the Political Economy of Gender in Conflict: The Case of Syria." Reproductive Health Matters 24 (47): 5-17.

Authors: Khuloud Alsaba, Anuj Kapilashrami


Political conflicts create significant risks for women, as new forms and pathways of violence emerge, and existing patterns of violence may get amplified and intensified. The systematic use of sexual violence as a tactic of war is well-documented. Emergent narratives from the Middle East also highlight increasing risk and incidence of violence among displaced populations in refugee camps in countries bordering states affected by conflict. However, much less is known about the changing nature of violence and associated risks and lived experiences of women across a continuum of violence faced within the country and across national borders. Discussion on violence against women (VAW) in conflict settings is often stripped of an understanding of the changing political economy of the state and how it structures gender relations, before, during and after a conflict, creating particular risks of violence and shaping women’s experiences. Drawing on a review of grey and published literature and authors’ experiences, this paper examines this underexplored dimension of VAW in political conflicts, by identifying risk environments and lived realities of violence experienced by women in the Syrian conflict, a context that is itself poorly understood. We argue for multi-level analysis of women’s experiences of violence, taking into account the impact of the political economy of the wider region as shaping the lived realities of violence and women’s response, as well as their access to resources for resistance and recovery.
Les conflits politiques créent des risques importants pour les femmes, parallèlement à l’apparition de nouvelles formes et voies de violence ainsi qu’à l’amplification et l’intensification des modes existants de violence. Le recours systématique à la violence sexuelle comme tactique de guerre est bien documenté. Des récits provenant du Moyen-Orient mettent également en lumière le risque accru et la multiplication des actes de violence parmi les personnes déplacées dans des camps de réfugiés dans des pays voisins des États touchés par le conflit. Néanmoins, la nature changeante de la violence au sein des pays et les risques associés, de même que les expériences vécues par les femmes dans un continuum de violence au sein des pays et à travers les frontières nationales sont nettement moins bien connus. La discussion sur la violence faite aux femmes dans les conflits parvient rarement à comprendre la mutation de l’économie politique de l’État et la manière dont elle structure les relations entre hommes et femmes, avant, pendant et après un conflit, comment elle génère des risques particuliers de violence et façonne l’expérience des femmes. Se fondant sur un examen de la «littérature grise», des publications et de l’expérience des auteurs, cet article se penche sur cette dimension sous-explorée de la violence faite aux femmes dans les conflits politiques, en identifiant les environnements à risque et les réalités vécues de violence subie par les femmes dans le conflit syrien, un contexte qui est en lui-même mal compris. Nous préconisons une analyse à plusieurs niveaux de la violence faite aux femmes, en tenant compte de l’impact de l’économie politique de l’ensemble de la région qui remodèle les réalités vécues de la violence et la réaction des femmes, ainsi que leur accès aux ressources pour résister et récupérer.
Los conflictos políticos crean riesgos significativos para las mujeres, a medida que surgen nuevas formas y vías de violencia, y los patrones existentes de violencia posiblemente se amplifiquen e intensifiquen. El uso sistemático de la violencia sexual como una táctica de guerra está bien documentado. Relatos emergentes del Oriente Medio también destacan creciente riesgo e incidencia de violencia entre poblaciones desplazadas en campos de refugiados, en los países fronterizos con Estados afectados por conflicto. Sin embargo, se sabe mucho menos acerca de la naturaleza cambiante de la violencia y riesgos asociados, y acerca de las experiencias vividas por las mujeres a lo largo de un continuum de violencia enfrentada en el país y a través de fronteras nacionales. La discusión sobre la violencia contra las mujeres (VCM) en ámbitos de conflicto a menudo es despojada de comprensión de la economía política cambiante del Estado y cómo ésta estructura las relaciones de género antes, durante y después de un conflicto, creando riesgos específicos de violencia y afectando las experiencias de las mujeres. Basado en una revisión de la literatura gris y publicada, y en las experiencias de los autores, este artículo examina esta dimensión subexplorada de la VCM en conflictos políticos, e identifica ambientes de riesgo y realidades vividas de violencia sufrida por mujeres en el conflicto sirio, un contexto que en sí no es bien comprendido. Argumentamos a favor del análisis en múltiples niveles de las experiencias de las mujeres con la violencia, tomando en cuenta el impacto de la economía política de la región en general como algo que define las realidades vividas de violencia y la respuesta de las mujeres, así como su acceso a recursos para resistancia y recuperación.

Keywords: gender, conflict, violence against women, political economy of violence, Syria

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2016

Highlighting the Gender Disparities in Mental Health among Syrian Refugees in Jordan


Kisulu, Anita, and Lina Darras. 2018. "Highlighting the Gender Disparities in Mental Health among Syrian Refugees in Jordan." Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychological Support in Conflict Affected Areas 16 (2): 140-46. 

Authors: Anita Kisulu, Lina Darras


Jordan has been a host country to many refugees from neighbouring countries for many years and has recently become a place of refuge for thousands of Syrians. The Syrian crisis has resulted in millions of Syrians fleeing their homes, uncertain of When they will return. Most of those seeking refuge have witnessed and/or experienced traumatic events that have affected their mental well-being in addition to starting over as refugees. Despite the large number of non-profit organizations providing free mental health services to refugees, not everyone has equal access to these services. This report, based on a literature review and a focus group discussion, highlights the different gender dimensions of mental health among Syrian refugees in Jordan. These risk factors include access to and use of mental health services, manifestation of mental health and psychosocial problems, treatment by mental-health workers and the socio-economic outcomes of living with someone suffering from mental health. 

Keywords: gender, Jordan, mental health, refugees, Syria

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Health, Mental Health, Livelihoods Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan, Syria

Year: 2018

Jihadi Brides and Female Volunteers: Reading the Islamic State's War to See Gender and Agency in Conflict Dynamics


Sjoberg, Laura. 2017. "Jihadi Brides and Female Volunteers: Reading the Islamic State’s War to See Gender and Agency in Conflict Dynamics." Conflict Management and Peace Science 35 (3): 296-311.

Author: Laura Sjoberg


Decades ago, Cynthia Enloe called for a research agenda looking for where women are in war and conflict. Enloe recognized that women play active roles in and are affected by wars and conflicts, but are often ignored in news coverage, policy analysis, and scholarship. The current conflict in Syria and Iraq appears as a counterexample: hundreds of millions of Google results mention women and the Islamic State (IS). Subjects vary widely: the stories cover female victims of IS, female recruits to IS, and women who fight IS. This article explores the hypervisibility of women in this conflict, looking for lessons about sex, gender, and conflict. The first part analyses discourses in a sample of major news reports, evaluating how different women around IS are represented. It finds that agency is removed from both female victims and female IS partisans, while it is exaggerated for women who fight against IS. This corresponds with emphasis on different gendered traits for differently positioned women. After tracing these gendered representations, the article applies theories of gender and conflict to understand how women have become central to the fighting and coverage of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. It concludes that paying attention both to the empirical presence of women and to the co-constitution of gender, war, and conflict augments understanding of this war, and across conflicts.

Keywords: feminist theory, gender, Islamic state, media coverage, terrorism, violence, war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Terrorism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2017

Queer/Humanitarian Visibility: The Emergence of the Figure of The Suffering Syrian Gay Refugee


Saleh, Fadi. 2020. "Queer/Humanitarian Visibility: The Emergence of the Figure of The Suffering Syrian Gay Refugee." Middle East Critique: Special Issue on Queering the Middle East 29 (1): 47-67. 

Author: Fadi Saleh


Prior to the Syrian uprisings in 2011, Syrian queer and trans* populations were rather unknown and irrelevant to global LGBT politics, Western media, and humanitarian efforts. This changed considerably after the uprisings as representations steadily increased and proliferated on social media and in journalistic accounts. This article traces this shift and argues that queer and trans* Syrians became visible primarily through a queer/humanitarian media-visibility paradigm and the construction, consolidation, and circulation of the figure of the suffering Syrian gay refugee. Drawing on analyses of what I consider pivotal events and media representations as well as journalistic writings, this article maps out the ways in which the figure of the suffering Syrian gay refugee and the associations it foregrounds emerged, circulated, and became normalized after the uprisings and years into the Syrian conflict. Furthermore, based on ethnographic fieldwork that I conducted with Syrian LGBT refugees in Istanbul during 2014 – 15, this article challenges the suitability of this figure as a knowledge production framework and suggests new research trajectories to approach, understand, and write Syrian queer and trans* histories beyond the queer/humanitarian visibility paradigm and the figure of the suffering Syrian gay refugee.

Keywords: gay, humanitarian visibility, media, queer, refugee, Syria, violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Conflict, Media, LGBTQ, Sexuality, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2020

Gay Girl in Damascus: Saving Brown Women from Brown Men in Syria


Kuntz, Blair. 2019. "Gay Girl in Damascus: Saving Brown Women From Brown Men in Syria." Paper presented at International Conference on Gender Research, April.

Author: Blair Kuntz


This paper extracts the phrase "white women saving brown women from brown men" from Gita Spivak's celebrated essay " Can the Subaltern Speak?" and applies it to the various Western interventions that have used "crisis initiation" (i.e. false flags) using the theme of gender injustice to initiate "humanitarian interventions" in the Middle East, Libya and the Former Yugoslavia. The paper analyzes the hoax of the social media blog "Gay Girl of Damascus", which appeared at the beginning of the so-called "Syrian Uprising" of 2011 and examines how the hoax advanced the Western project for regime change in Syria. The blog purported to record the experiences of Amina Arraf who described herself as a Syrian-American lesbian living in Damascus. Eventually, on June 6, 2011, Amina's cousin claimed that Amina had been abducted by the Syrian government, sparking popular outrage in the Western LGBT community and widespread coverage within the Western mainstream media. In the end, the blog post was revealed to be a complete hoax and "Amina" was revealed to be Tom McMaster, a heterosexual American man living in Edinburgh. The paper discusses how Western "humanitarian interventions" have been used as a cynical justification for war and the theft of resources and how Western "imperial feminists" (who in turn transform into "white women saving brown women from brown men") have colluded in the endeavor. Rather than improving the circumstances for women and sexual minorities in the region, Western governments and their allies have worsened the situation as they have nurtured, encouraged and supported various jihadist rebels. The jihadist victims include the Yezidi women of Iraq taken as sex slaves; women killed for adultery; and gay men thrown off tall buildings, stoned to death or shot for allegedly practicing same-sex relations.

Keywords: imperial feminism, humanitarian intervention, Sexual minorities, middle east, Arab Spring

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Media, Humanitarian Assistance, LGBTQ, Race, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2019

Syrian Refugee Men as Objects of Humanitarian Care


Turner, Lewis. 2019. "Syrian Refugee Men as Objects of Humanitarian Care." International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (4): 595-616.

Author: Lewis Turner


Critical feminist scholars of conflict and displacement have demonstrated that “womenandchildren” (Enloe 1993) have become an uncontroversial object of humanitarian concern in these contexts (Carpenter 2003; Hyndman and Giles 2011). Yet very little scholarly work has attempted to understand the position of refugee men as a demographic within humanitarianism. Through an analysis of the Syria refugee response in Jordan, this article investigates how humanitarian workers relate to refugee men and think about refugee masculinities. It argues that refugee men have an uncertain position as objects of humanitarian care. Seeing refugee men as objects of humanitarian care would disrupt prevailing humanitarian understandings of refugeehood as a feminized subject position and of gender work as work that “helps women” (Cornwall 2007; Johnson 2011). It would furthermore challenge prevailing binary visions of refugee men as agential, political actors, and refugee women as in need of “empowerment” through the implementation of technocratic programming. In the context of the Syria refugee response, these gendered and racialized understandings of refugee men and masculinities are mediated by particular conceptions of “Arabness.” This research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews with humanitarian workers and Syrian refugees, which was undertaken in Jordan in 2015–2016.
أثبتت الدراسات النسوية النقدية لقضايا النزوح والصراعات أن “النساؤلأطفال ” (Enloe 1993) أصبحوا من ملسلّمات الشواغل الإنسانية في سياقات هذه القضايا (Carpenter 2003; Hyndman and Giles 2011). فيما هناك عدد قليل من الدراسات التي سعت إلى فهم مكانة الرجال اللاجئين كشريحة بشرية ضمن العمل الإنساني . تستقصي هذه المقالة، من خلال تحليل العمل الإنساني مع اللاجئين السوريين في الأردن، كيفية تعامل وفهم المشتغلين بالقطاع الإنساني للرجال اللاجئين ورجولاتهم . تدلل المقالة بأن مكانة الرجال اللاجئين، بوصفهم أهدافا للرعاية الإنسانية، هي مكانة غير مؤكدة. إن اعتبار الرجال اللاجئين أهدافا للرعاية الإنسانية من شأنه أن يخلخل التصورات السائدة في القطاع الإنساني لحالة اللجوء كحالة تم تأنيثها وللعمل الجندري كعمل يسعى لـ “مساعدة المرأة” (Cornwall 2007; Johnson 2011). كما أن هذا الاعتبار من شأنه أن يتحدى الرؤى الثنائية السائدة التي ترى الرجال اللاجئين كذوي وكالة وكفاعلين سياسيين بينما ترى النساء اللاجئات كمحتاجات لـ “التمكين "، من خلال تنفيذ البرامج التكنوقراطية . إن هذه التصورات، التي تُقرن معها العرقية والنوع الاجتماعي، للرجال اللاجئين والرجولات في سياق التعامل مع اللجوء السوري تشكلها مفاهيم محددة لـ“عروبة” هؤلاء السوريين . يتكئ هذا البحث على العمل الميداني الإثنوغرافي والمقابلات النوعية التي تم اجراؤها في الأردن بين 2015 و2016 مع العاملين في القطاع الإنساني ومع اللاجئين السوريين
Kritische feministische Wissenschaftler*innen haben im Kontext von Konflikt und Flucht gezeigt wie “FrauenundKinder” (Enloe 1993) zu einem unkontroversen Objekt humanitären Interesses geworden sind (Carpenter 2003; Hyndman and Giles 2011). Jedoch setzt sich nur wenig akademische Forschung mit der Position geflüchteter Männer innerhalb humanitärer Arbeit auseinander. Durch eine Analyse der humanitären Reaktion auf syrische Geflüchtete in Jordanien untersucht dieser Artikel, in welcher Beziehung humanitäre Helfer*innen zu geflüchteten Männern stehen, und wie sie deren Maskulinitäten verstehen. Es wird argumentiert, dass geflüchtete Männer eine unklare Position als Objekte humanitärer Hilfe innehaben. Ein Verständnis von geflüchteten Männern als Objekte humanitärer Hilfe würde bedeuten, vorherrschende humanitäre Verständnisse des Flüchtlingsstatus aufzubrechen. Feminisierte Subjektpositionen und Genderarbeit als Arbeit, die „Frauen hilft” (Cornwall 2007; Johnson 2011), bilden diese vorherrschenden Verständnisse. Weiterhin würde diese Perspektive bestehende binäre Sichtweisen anfechten, die geflüchtete Männer als handlungsmächtige, politische Akteure darstellen. Geflüchteten Frauen hingegen soll durch technokratische “Empowerment-Programme” aus ihrer Schutz- und Hilfsbedürftigkeit geholfen werden. Diese gegenderten und rassifizierten Verständnisse werden durch spezifische Konzeptionen dessen, was es bedeutet, “ein*e Araber*in zu sein”, verhandelt. Dieser Artikel basiert auf ethnographischer Feldforschung und qualitativen Interviews mit humanitären Helfer*innen und syrischen Geflüchteten in Jordanien zwischen 2015–2016.

Keywords: humanitarianism, gender, men, masculinities, Syrian refugees

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Humanitarian Assistance, Race Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan, Syria

Year: 2019

Inhabiting Difference across Religion and Gender: Displaced Women's Experiences at Turkey's Border with Syria


Dagtaș, Seçil. 2018. "Inhabiting Difference across Religion and Gender: Displaced Women’s Experiences at Turkey’s Border with Syria." Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees 34 (1): 50-59. 

Author: Seçil Dagtaș


The global refugee crisis gives new urgency to questions of gender and religion in contexts of displacement. This article adopts and contributes to an intersectional feminist reading of gendered displacement by examining the daily lives of a diverse group of displaced Syrian women at the southern borderlands of Turkey, a country hosting the world’s largest population of refugees today. I argue that the vernaculars of hospitality and border crossings surrounding these women’s lives assemble gendered practices and religious discourses in ways that rework and transcend their citizenship and identity-based differences. These assemblages, moreover, derive significant insight from women’s labour and everyday networks at the local level, which often go unnoticed in public debates. Research that shifts focus from institutional governance to women’s everyday sociality allows intersectional feminists to capture the nuances of displaced women’s agency and the contingencies of their dwelling and mobility in the Middle East against the de-historicized representations of victimized refugee women. 
La crise mondiale des réfugiés confère une nouvelle urgence aux questions de genre et de religion dans les contextes de déplacement. Cet article adopte, et alimente, une lecture féministe intersectionnelle des déplacements sexospécifiques en étudiant la vie quotidienne d’un groupe divers de femmes syriennes déplacées dans les territoires transfrontaliers du sud de la Turquie, pays qui accueille aujourd’hui la plus grande population de réfugiés au monde. J’argumente que les particularités de l’accueil et des passages de frontières qui rythment la vie de ces femmes conjuguent des pratiques sexospécifiques et des discours religieux d’une façon qui repense et transcende leur citoyenneté et leurs différences identitaires. De plus, ces particularités conjuguées permettent de dégager de nombreuses informations sur le travail des femmes et les réseaux quotidiens au niveau local, qui passent souvent inaperçues dans les débats publics. Les travaux de recherche qui déplacent leur intérêt de la gouvernance institutionnelle à la vie sociale quotidienne des femmes permettent aux féministes intersectionnelles de saisir les nuances des actes posés par les femmes déplacées et les imprévus concernant leur logement et leur mobilité au Moyen-Orient, les uns et les autres étant à mettre en perspective avec les représentations hors contexte historique des femmes réfugiées victimisées.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria, Turkey

Year: 2018

Gender in the Representations of Armed Conflict


Toivanen, Mari, and Bahar Baser. 2016. "Gender in the Representations of an Armed Conflict." Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 9 (3): 294-314.

Authors: Mari Toivanen, Bahar Baser


The Syrian civil war has been, without doubt, the war most widely covered by international media in this millennium. Having engaged in an armed combat against the Islamic State (IS), Kurdish military troops, especially the female battalion, have received considerable international media attention. This study examines the gender dimension of national media representations of female Kurdish combatants belonging to the Protection Units (YPJ) in Syria. How have the female combatants been framed in British and French media? To what extent are these representations gendered? The overall data consists of news articles from national media outlets in France and in the United Kingdom between 2014 and 2015, and is analyzed with frame analysis. The results show that the juxtaposition of female combatants with IS fighters allows the depiction of the participation of the former as exceptional and heroic and as one that deconstructs the masculinity of its adversary. The role of female combatants in the ongoing conflict is represented in the British and French media through the construction of sexualized and modern-day heroine figures that are largely glorified.

Keywords: Kurdish, media, gender, framing, female combatant, Islamic state

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Northern Europe, Western Europe Countries: France, Syria, United Kingdom

Year: 2016

The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security


Davies, Sara E., and Jacqui True, eds. 2019. The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security. New York: Oxford University Press.

Authors: Sara E. Davies, Jacqui True


The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace, and Security examines the significant and evolving international Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, which scholars and practitioners have together contributed to advancing over almost two decades. Fifteen years since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the WPS agenda has never been more salient on the agenda of states and international organizations. The Global Study of 1325 (“Preventing Conflict, Securing Peace”) commissioned by the UN Secretary-General and released in September 2015, however, found that there is a major implementation gap with respect to UNSCR 1325 that accounts for the gaping absence of women’s participation in peace and transitional decision-making processes. With independent, critical, and timely analysis by scholars, advocates, and policymakers across global regions, the Oxford Handbook synthesizes new and enduring knowledge, collectively taking stock of what has been achieved and what remains incomplete and unfinished about the WPS agenda. The handbook charts the collective way forward to increase the impact of WPS research, theory, and practice.

Keywords: WPS agenda, women peace and security, UNSCR 1325, gender and security, UN Security Council, women's rights, conflict and post-conflict


Table of Contents:
Part I. Concepts of WPS
1. WPS: A Transformative Agenda?
Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True
2. Peace and Security from a Feminist Perspective
J. Ann Tickner
3. Adoption of 1325 Resolution
Christine Chinkin
4. Civil Society's Leadership in Adopting 1325 Resolution
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini
5. Scholarly Debates and Contested Meanings of WPS
Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin and Nahla Valji
6. Advocacy and the WPS Agenda
Sarah Taylor
7. WPS as a Political Movement
Swanee Hunt and Alive Wairimu Nderitu
8. Location Masculinities in WP
Henri Myrttinen
9. WPS and Adopted Security Council Resolutions
Laura J Shepherd
10. WPS and Gender Mainstreaming
Karin Landgren
11. The Production of the 2015 Global Study
Louise Olsson and Theodora-Ismene Gizelis
Part II. Pillars of WPS
12. WPS and Conflict Prevention
Bela Kapur and Madeleine Rees
13. What Works in Participation
Thania Paffenholz
14. What Works (and Fails) in Protection
Hannah Donges and Janosch Kullenberg
15. What Works in Relief and Recovery
Jacqui True and Sarah Hewitt
16. Where the WPS Pillars Intersect
Marie O'Reilly
17. WPS and Female Peacekeepers
Natasja Rupesinghe, Eli Stamnes, and John Karlsrud
18. WPS and SEA in Peacekeeping Operations
Jamine-Kim Westendorf
19. WPS and Peacekeeping Economics
Kathleen M. Jennings
20. WPS in Military Training and Socialization
Helena Carreiras and Teresa Fragoso
21. WPS and Policing: New Terrain
Bethan Greener
22. WPS, States, and the National Action Plans
Mirsad Miki Jacevic
Part III. Institutionalizing WPS
23. WPS inside the United Nations
Megan Dersnah
24. WPS and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict
Eleanor O'Gorman
25. WPS and the Human Rights Council
Rashida Manjoo
26. WPS and International Financial Institutions
Jacqui True and Barbro Svedberg
27. WPS and the International Criminal Court
Jonneke Koomen
28. WPS and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Stéfanie von Hlatky
29. WPS and the African Union
Toni Haastrup
30. WPS and the Association of South East Asian Nations
Ma. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza
31. WPS and the Pacific Islands Forum
Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls and Sian Rolls
32. WPS and the Organization of American States
Mary K. Meyer McAleese
33. WPS and Civil Society
Annika Bjorkdahl and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic
34. WPS and Transnational Feminist Networks
Joy Onyesoh
Part IV. Implementing WPS
35. Delivering WPS Protection in All Female Peacekeeping Force: The Case of Liberia
Sabrina Karim
36. Securing Participation and Protection in Peace Agreements: The Case of Colombia
Isabela Marín Carvajal and Eduardo Álvarez-Vanegas
37. WPS and Women's Roles in Conflict-Prevention: The Case of Bougainville
Nicole George
38. Women in Rebellion: The Case of Sierra Leone
Zoe Marks
39. Protecting Displaced Women and Girls: The Case of Syria
Elizabeth Ferris
40. Donor States Delivering on WPS: The Case of Norway
Inger Skjelsbæk and Torunn L. Tryggestad
41. WPS as Diplomatic Vocation: The Case of China
Liu Tiewa
42. Women Controlling Arms, Building Peace: The Case of the Philippines
Jasmin Nario-Galace
43. Testing the WPS Agenda: The Case of Afghanistan
Claire Duncanson and Vanessa Farr
44. Mainstreaming WPS in the Armed Forced: The Case of Australia
Jennifer Wittwer
Part V. Cross-Cutting Agenda? Connections and Mainstreaming
45. WPS and Responsibility to Protect
Alex J. Bellamy and Sara E. Davies
46. WPS and Protection of Civilians
Lisa Hultman and Angela Muvumba Sellstrom
47. WPS, Children, and Armed Conflict
Katrine Lee-Koo
48. WPS, Gender, and Disabilities
Deborah Stienstra
49. WPS and Humanitarian Action
Sarah Martin and Devanna de la Puente
50. WPS, Migration, and Displacements
Lucy Hall
51. WPS and LGBTI Rights
Lisa Davis and Jessica Stern
52. WPS and CEDAW, Optional Protocol, and General Recommendations
Catherine O'Rourke with Aisling Swaine
53. Women's Roles in CVE
Sri Waiyanti Eddyono with Sara E. Davies
54. WPS and Arms Trade Treaty
Ray Acheson and Maria Butler
55. WPS and Sustainable Development Goals
Radhika Balakrishnan and Krishanti Dharmaraj
56. WPS and the Convention against Torture
Andrea Huber and Therese Rytter
57. WPS and Climate Change
Annica Kronsell
Part VI. Ongoing and Future Challenges
58. Global Study: Looking Forward
Radhika Coomaraswamy and Emily Kenney
59. Measuring WPS: A New Global Index
Jeni Klugman
60. Pursuing Gender Security
Aisling Swaine
61. The Challenge of Foreign Policy in the WPS Agenda
Valerie M. Hudson and Lauren A. Eason
62. Networked Advocacy
Yifat Susskind and Diana Duarte
63. Women's Peacemaking in South Asia
Meenakshi Gopinath and Rita Manchanda
64. WPS, Peace Negotiations, and Peace Agreements
Karin Aggestam
65. The WPS Agenda: A Postcolonial Critique
Swati Parashar
66. The WPS Agenda and Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
67. The Challenges of Monitoring and Analyzing WPS for Scholars
Natalie Florea Hudson


Topics: Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, International Law, International Organizations, LGBTQ, Peacekeeping, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, East Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, China, Colombia, Liberia, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Syria

Year: 2019

Forced Pregnancy versus Forcible Impregnation: A Critical Analysis of Genocidal Rape during War/Armed Conflict.


Banwell, Stacy Louise. 2019. "Forced Pregnancy versus Forcible Impregnation: A Critical Analysis of Genocidal Rape during War/Armed Conflict." Paper presented at the 75th American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November 13-16.

Author: Stacy Louise Banwell


Forced pregnancy and forcible impregnation are contested terms in relation to genocidal rape. The International Criminal Court (ICC), for example, defines forced pregnancy as ‘the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population’ (Rome Statute of the ICC, 2011). Whereas, The Holy See suggests that the Statute need only criminalize the act of forcibly making a woman pregnant and not the subsequent act of forcibly keeping her pregnant. Thus, they suggest the term forcible impregnation rather than forced pregnancy (Grey, 2017). This paper unpacks the implications of the ICC’s definition of forced pregnancy in relation to the rape and sexual slavery of Yazidi women in Iraq and Syria. Evidence suggest that ISIS engaged in a genocidal campaign against the Yazidis. Many women and girls were forcibly impregnated, resulting in unwanted pregnancies (Genocide Network, 2017; Human Rights Council, 2016). However, forced impregnation (as defined by the ICC) cannot be applied to this case. Drawing on Grey’s (2017) notion of ‘reproductive violence’ - violence that violates reproductive autonomy - I review international criminal law and the reproductive justice available to women and girls raped and impregnated by ISIS.

Keywords: law, rape

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Girls, Genocide, Health, Reproductive Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2019


© 2023 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

Subscribe to RSS - Syria