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

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