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Asia

Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne

Citation:

Holzberg, Billy, and Priya Raghavan. 2020. “Securing the Nation through the Politics of Sexual Violence: Tracing Resonances between Delhi and Cologne.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1189–208.

Authors: Billy Holzberg, Priya Raghavan

Abstract:

Postcolonial and black feminist scholars have long cautioned against the dangerous proximity between the politics of sexual violence and the advancement of nationalist and imperial projects. In this article, we uncover what it is in particular about efforts to address sexual violence that makes them so amenable to exclusionary nationalist projects, by attending to the political aftermaths of the rape of Jyoti Singh in Delhi in 2012, and the cases of mass sexual abuse that took place during New Year's Eve in Cologne in 2015. Tracing the nationalist discourses and policies precipitated in their wake, we demonstrate how across both contexts, the response to sexual violence was ultimately to augment the securitizing power and remit of the state—albeit through different mechanisms, and while producing different subjects of/for surveillance, control and regulation. We highlight how in both cases it is through contemporary resonances of a persistent (post)colonial echo—which enmeshes the normative female body with the idea of the nation—that sexual abuse becomes an issue of national security and the politics of sexual violence becomes tethered to exclusionary nationalisms. Revealing the more general, shared, rationalities that bind the nation to the normative female body while attending to the located political reverberations that make this entanglement so affectively potent in the distinct contexts of India and Germany helps distinguish and amplify transnational and intersectional feminist approaches to sexual violence that do not so readily accommodate nationalist ambitions.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Intersectionality, Nationalism, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against Women Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, India

Year: 2020

Queering Explanatory Frameworks for Wartime Sexual Violence against Men

Citation:

Schulz, Philipp, and Heleen Touquet. 2020. “Queering Explanatory Frameworks for Wartime Sexual Violence against Men.” International Affairs 96 (5): 1169–87.

Authors: Philipp Schulz, Heleen Touquet

Abstract:

In this article we argue that prevalent explanatory frameworks of sexual violence against men primarily pursue one line of inquiry, explaining its occurrence as exclusively strategic and systematic, based on heteronormative and homophobic assumptions about violence, gender and sexualities. Feminist IR scholarship has significantly complexified our understanding of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), documenting its multiple forms and causes across time and space—thereby moving beyond the persistent opportunism-strategy dichotomy and critically engaging with the dominant ‘rape as a weapon of war’ narrative. Drawing on empirical material from Sri Lanka and northern Uganda we queer the current explanatory frameworks, analyzing multiple instances of CRSV against men that both simultaneously seem to confirm and defy categorizations as opportunistic or strategic, while being situated in broader and systematic warfare dynamics and unequal power-relationships. Our empirical material shows that relying on crude categorizations such as the opportunism–strategy binary is unproductive and essentialist, as it tends to mask over the complexities and messiness of deeply gendered power relationships during times of war. Binary strategy/opportunism categorizations also imply broader unintended political consequences, including the further marginalization of sexual violence acts that fall outside the dominant scripts or binary frameworks—such as sexual violence against men with opportunistic underpinnings.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Male Victims, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Men, Sexuality Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka, Uganda

Year: 2020

Mothers, Mercenaries and Mediators: Women Providing Answers to the Questions We Forgot to Ask

Citation:

Henty, Pip, and Beth Eggleston. 2018. “Mothers, Mercenaries and Mediators: Women Providing Answers to the Questions We Forgot to Ask.” Security Challenges 14(2): 106-23.

 

Authors: Pip Henty, Beth Eggleston

Abstract:

Current initiatives in countering violent extremism (CVE) often see women excluded or marginalised from the development, implementation and evaluation of these efforts. From informal grassroots levels to formal government platforms, women’s participation and perspectives in CVE continue to be absent or minimal. This paper analyses the role women can play in CVE, including leveraging global frameworks such as the Women, Peace and Security agenda. In providing case studies of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Tajikistan, this paper seeks to elaborate on and promote women’s engagement for more effective CVE outcomes.

 

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Peace and Security, Terrorism, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tajikistan

Year: 2018

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

Climate Change and Violence against Women: Study of a Flood-Affected Population in the Rural Area of Sindh, Pakistan

Citation:

Memon, Falak Shad. 2020. "Climate Change and Violence against Women: Study of a Flood-Affected Population in the Rural Area of Sindh, Pakistan." Pakistan Journal of Women's Studies 27 (1): 65-85.

Author: Falak Shad Memon

Abstract:

Climate-induced gender-based violence is an emerging area of study. Although studies on women and climate change are not new, a fresh understanding of gender-based issues and related problems are becoming of greater concern now. Women in Pakistan are generally at a disadvantage due to their societally- perceived norms, roles and responsibilities. This study aims to examine the experiences of women in flood settlement camps and to identify an association between natural disasters and violence against women. For this study, with the help of qualitative research methodology, 20 women were interviewed in the flood-prone areas of Sindh. Findings show that most women experience different types of violence, physical as well as emotional, committed by partners and even by complete strangers. The rate of such violence rises when women are displaced and are in temporary shelter facilities during a post-disaster period. Committing violence under such situations results in critical implications for both women victims and the development and implementation of gender sensitive climate change and disaster planning policies.

Keywords: climate change, disaster, gender-based violence, Pakistan, flood shelter-homes

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

Gender and Sexual Violence, Forced Marriages, and Primitive Accumulation during the Cambodian Genocide, 1975–1979

Citation:

Tyner, James A. 2018. “Gender and Sexual Violence, Forced Marriages, and Primitive Accumulation during the Cambodian Genocide, 1975–1979.” Gender, Place & Culture 25 (9): 1305–21.

Author: James A. Tyner

Abstract:

Between 1975 and 1979 approximately two million men, women, and children died during the Cambodian genocide. These deaths are attributed to specific administrative policies and practices initiated by the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK), all of which were geared toward the basic objective of increasing agricultural production as a means of building socialism. A crucial question regarding these practices was whether the CPK implemented policies designed specifically to destroy the traditional family structure of Cambodia. Drawing on the work of Silvia Federici, this article argues that policies and practices forwarded by the CPK constitute a variation of primitive accumulation; and that transformations of the traditional family structure were conditioned by the overall social organization of production initiated by the CPK. However, a more pressing form of gendered violence is apparent – a mode that pivots on the social ordering of the CPK’s political economy.

Keywords: Cambodia, gendered violence, primitive accumulation, Silvia Federici, social reproduction

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Political Economies, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia

Year: 2018

Marriage under Occupation: Israel’s Spousal Visa Restrictions in the West Bank

Citation:

Griffiths, Mark, and Mikko Joronen. 2019. “Marriage under Occupation: Israel’s Spousal Visa Restrictions in the West Bank.” Gender, Place & Culture 26 (2): 153–72. 

Authors: Mark Griffiths, Mikko Joronen

Abstract:

In the West Bank, hundreds of non-Palestinian women who are married to Palestinian men have recently been issued shortened visas with tightened restrictions. This means they are often prevented from working, their mobilities are severely reduced and they are placed in extremely precarious bureaucratic and procedural positions. The research in this article draws from fieldwork interviews with women affected by such restrictions to show how politically induced precarities produce gendered effects towards specific ends of the occupation of Palestine. We thus frame a discussion of the women’s experiences of visa regulations through precarity before giving an account of the profound effects on women’s roles in family and political life. We then broaden the focus to consider Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the demographic implications of the gendered effects of visa precarity. In doing so we make the argument that Israel’s spousal visa regulations contribute to the (re)production of uneven gender relations and the demographic objective of emptying out the West Bank.

Keywords: demography, gender, palestine, marriage, precarity, visa administration

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Citizenship, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2019

Enacting Intersectional Multilayered Citizenship: Kurdish Women’s Politics

Citation:

Erel, Umut, and Necla Acik. 2020. “Enacting Intersectional Multilayered Citizenship: Kurdish Women’s Politics.” Gender, Place & Culture 27 (4): 479–501.

Authors: Umut Erel, Necla Acik

Abstract:

Focusing on the institutional aspects of the Kurdish women’s movement in Turkey since the 1990s the article shows how it established a consciousness within the Kurdish national movement that gender equality is a cornerstone of democracy and ethnic rights. We frame this through theories of enacting intersectional multilayered citizenship and identify three key interventions: autonomous women’s assemblies, women’s quotas in pro-Kurdish rights parties and the cochair system where all elected positions within the pro- Kurdish parties are jointly occupied by a male and female. These have achieved a better representation of women in formal politics, rendered gender equality and sexual violence legitimate subjects of politics and contributed to establishing an aspiration for a more dialogic political ethos. While the women’s movement’s close affiliation with the Kurdish national movement has been highly effective, it also in part circumscribes gender roles to fit its agendas.

Keywords: gender politics, Kurds, Kurdish national movement, Co-chair system, middle east, women's movement, women's quota, women's political representation

Topics: Citizenship, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2020

"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

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