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Sexual Violence in Iraq: Challenges for Transnational Feminist Politics

Citation:

Al-Ali, Nadje. 2018. "Sexual Violence in Iraq: Challenges for Transnational Feminist Politics." European Journal of Women's Studies 25 (1): 10-27.

Author: Nadje Al-Ali

Abstract:

The article discusses sexual violence by ISIS against women in Iraq, particularly Yezidi women, against the historical background of broader sexual and gender-based violence. It intervenes in feminist debates about how to approach and analyse sexual and wider gender-based violence in Iraq specifically and the Middle East more generally. Recognizing the significance of positionality, the article argues against dichotomous positions and for the need to look at both macrostructural configurations of power pertaining to imperialism, neoliberalism and globalization on the one hand, and localized expressions of patriarchy, religious interpretations and practices and cultural norms on the other hand. Finally, the article reflects on the question of what a transnational feminist solidarity might look like in relation to sexual violence by ISIS.

Keywords: gender-based violence, ISIS, Kurdish Region of Iraq, positionality, Yezidi Women

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Globalization, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, Religion, Sexual Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2018

Reconsidering Nationalism and Feminism: The Kurdish Political Movement in Turkey

Citation:

Al‐Ali, Nadje, and Latif Tas. 2018. "Reconsidering Nationalism and Feminism: The Kurdish Political Movement in Turkey." Nations and Nationalism 24 (2): 453-73.

Authors: Nadje Al-Ali, Latif Tas

Abstract:

Feminist scholars have documented with reference to multiple empirical contexts that feminist claims within nationalist movements are often side‐lined, constructed as ‘inauthentic’ and frequently discredited for imitating supposedly western notions of gender‐based equality. Despite these historical precedents, some feminist scholars have pointed to the positive aspects of nationalist movements, which frequently open up spaces for gender‐based claims. Our research is based on the recognition that we cannot discuss and evaluate the fraught relationship in the abstract but that we need to look at the specific historical and empirical contexts and articulations of nationalism and feminism. The specific case study we draw from is the relationship between the Kurdish women's movement and the wider Kurdish political movement in Turkey. We are exploring the ways that the Kurdish movement in Turkey has politicised Kurdish women's rights activists and examine how Kurdish women activists have reacted to patriarchal tendencies within the Kurdish movement.

Keywords: ethnic nationalism, feminism, Kurdish women's movement, middle east, PKK, Turkey

Topics: Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Nationalism, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2018

“War Is like a Blanket”: Feminist Convergences in Kurdish and Turkish Women’s Rights Activism for Peace

Citation:

Al-Ali, Nadje, and Latif Tas. 2017. "'War Is like a Blanket': Feminist Convergences in Kurdish and Turkish Women’s Rights Activism for Peace." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 13 (3): 354-75.

Authors: Nadje Al-Ali, Latif Tas

Abstract:

Despite the recent outbreak of violence and conflict, peace continues to be high on the agenda of the Kurdish political movement and many progressive Turkish intellectuals and activists. Based on qualitative research we conducted in Diyarbakır, Istanbul, London, and Berlin in 2015–16, we show that Kurdish activists have struggled to make the eradication of gender-based inequalities and violence central to the wider Kurdish peace movement, while Turkish women’s rights activists have increasingly recognized that the war against the Kurds, “like a blanket,” often papers over gender injustices. Both Kurdish and Turkish activists stress the necessity of understanding that a just and sustainable peace must include gender equality and that gender justice cannot be achieved in times of war. Thus feminist convergences in Kurdish and Turkish activism present peace and women’s rights as inseparable and generate the potential to challenge nationalist state power and the militarization of society.

Keywords: peace, Turkish Kurdish conflict, Kurdish political movement, women's rights movement, Turkey

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Nationalism, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2017

Representing Disaster with Resignation and Nostalgia: Japanese Men's Responses to the 2011 Earthquake

Citation:

Kambe, Naoki. 2017. “Representing Disaster with Resignation and Nostalgia: Japanese Men’s Responses to the 2011 Earthquake.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society, no. 4, 15–22.

Author: Naoki Kambe

Annotation:

Summary:
Naoki Kambe explores the masculinist rhetoric of Japanese male intellectuals’ reactions to the 2011 earthquake. Through an analysis of several responses by Japanese male intellectuals and writers, Kambe explores how, in times of disaster, these intellectuals and writers express the cultural and masculine ideals of akirame, or resignation—which is linked to mujō, or the impermanence of nature—and of nostalgia for the remote past. In doing so, Kambe makes observations about the connections between masculinity and nation in the Japanese context. (Summary from Environment & Society Portal)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Nationalism Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2017

Imperial Democracies, Militarised Zones, Feminist Engagements

Citation:

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 2011. “Imperial Democracies, Militarised Zones, Feminist Engagements.” Economic and Political Weekly 46 (13): 76–84.

Author: Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Annotation:

Summary:
The post-11 September 2001 consolidation of imperial democracies and securitised regimes in the United States, Israel, and India mobilise anatomies of violence anchored in colonial legacies and capitalist profitmaking. These regimes utilise specific and connected racial and gendered ideologies and practices at their social and territorial borders - in the US-Mexico borderlands, the West Bank and Gaza, and the Kashmir Valley. They exercise militarised and masculinised forms of control, surveillance and dispossession that illuminate the contours of national political subjectivities and the uneven construction of citizenship. These imperial democracies militarise all domains of social life, and discipline or imprison not just abandoned and criminalised communities, but all state subjects. The essay suggests that an alternative vision of connectivity and solidarity requires building ethical, cross-border feminist solidarities that confront neoliberal militarisation globally. (Summary from original source) 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Violence Regions: MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: India, Israel, United States of America

Year: 2011

Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation

Citation:

Singh, Chandni. 2019. “Migration as a Driver of Changing Household Structures: Implications for Local Livelihoods and Adaptation.” Migration and Development, March 15. https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2019.1589073.

Author: Chandni Singh

Abstract:

Rapid environmental change, increasing climate variability, land fragmentation, and underlying institutional lacunae have shaped rural livelihoods in India. Increasingly, rural-urban migration has been a significant livelihood strategy to manage risks, meet aspirations, and move out of increasingly unprofitable agriculture. I argue that this movement of people is changing shape household structures, and the metrics to assess these transitions, often through categories of male- and female-headed households, fall short in understanding the experiences and outcomes of migration. Using a household survey (n = 825) and life history interviews (n = 16) to study rural-urban migration in South India, I demonstrate that shifting household configurations due to migration and commuting have implications for the risk management strategies people undertake. This calls for an expanded understanding of the ‘household’, which captures the realities of multi-local households, and consequently, for an expanded conceptualisation of ‘local adaptation’. Such an understanding is sensitive to the ‘beyond-local’ flows and networks that shape household risk management behaviour and has implications for improving the effectiveness of climate change adaptation interventions.

Keywords: migration, aspirations, intra-household dynamics, gender, adaptation, India, climate change

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Uncultivated Biodiversity in Women’s Hand: How to Create Food Sovereignty

Citation:

Patria, Hayu Dyah. 2013. “Uncultivated Biodiversity in Women’s Hand: How to Create Food Sovereignty.” Asian Journal of Women’s Studies 19 (2): 148-61.

Author: Hayu Dyah Patria

Abstract:

Most of the world’s food is grown, collected, and harvested by over 2.5 billion small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest dwellers and fisherfolk, of which more than half are women. Women’s knowledge and labor play a key role in sustaining the many diverse, local food systems that still exist today throughout the world. Mantasa is an independent organization in Indonesia that works on edible wild plants. Biodiversity is the key to food sovereignty and women are the holders of knowledge and wisdom related to utilization of natural resources for their livelihood. Galengdowo village, discussed here, is a successful case where women use edible wild plants to sustain their food sovereignty.

Keywords: edible wild plants, food sovereignty, women's role, biodiversity, traditional knowledge, Galengdowo village

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2013

Asian Fury: Gender, Orientalism and the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear ‘Threat’ in US Foreign Policy Discourse, 1998 – 2009

Citation:

Vaughan, Tom. 2013. “Asian Fury: Gender, Orientalism and the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear ‘Threat’ in US Foreign Policy Discourse, 1998 – 2009.” Working Paper No. 09-13, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Author: Tom Vaughan

Abstract:

Since India and Pakistan each carried out their second tests of nuclear weapons in 1998, US foreign policy discourse and Western media has often taken as fact the 'threat' of nuclear conflict in the region. This dissertation argues that a critical constructivist approach is required when studying Indo-Pakistani nuclear relations, given the inadequacies of structural realism and its unhelpful assumptions about the 'nature' of international politics. Since realist accounts make up the majority of recent literature on the subject, this dissertation aims to provide an alternative account, examining how US foreign policy discourse constructs the condition of threat through representations of the US, India and Pakistan. Using a discourse analysis methodology, I investigate the gendered and orientalist constructions of India and Pakistan which contribute to the mainstream perception of nuclear threat on the South Asian subcontinent. In a two-part analysis, I examine the effect that the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks have had on the US discourse around Indo-Pakistani nuclear behaviour. I find that the US discourse changes significantly over time. From the 1998 tests onwards, a direct and imminent nuclear threat to international security is constructed. After 9/11, this threat is increasingly negated. Across both periods, the US discourse constitently feminises and orientalises India and Pakistan in relation to a dominant US masculinity – practices which are instrumental in the representation of threat – although the uses and effects of these representational practices shift over time. The discursive changes observed demonstrate how 'radical breaks' in history can change knowledge about international politics, and illustrate how US foreign policy discourse reconfigures the US's global identity after 9/11.

Keywords: United States, India, Pakistan, nuclear, non-proliferation, Foucault, discourse, gender, orientalism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan, United States of America

Year: 2013

Why Women Must Reject Nuclearisation

Citation:

Sangari, Kumkum, Neeraj Malik, Sheba Chhachhi, and Tanika Sarkar. 2001. "Why Women Must Reject Nuclearisation." In Out of the Nuclear Shadow, edited by Smitu Kothari and Zia Mian, 155-163. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Kumkum Sangari, Neeraj Malik, Sheba Chhachhi, Tanika Sarkar

Annotation:

Summary:
"A bomb does not discriminate, nuclearisation does. A nuclear bomb when dropped on any population does not distinguish between Hindus and Muslims, poor or rich, civilian or military, child or adult, men or women. However nuclearisation -- developing, manufacturing and maintaining nuclear weapons -- affects special social groups in particular ways. 
 
"India's decision to become a nuclear weapons state has a profoundly negative impact on women's lives. Women, being already disadvantaged within existing social and familial structures, will bear a larger part of the social cost of nuclearisation" (Sangari et al. 2001, 155).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2001

The Repercussions of Nuclearization on Pakistani Women

Citation:

Khattak, Saba Gul. 1999. “The Repercussions of Nuclearization on Pakistani Women.” Development 42 (2): 71–3.

Author: Saba Gul Khattak

Abstract:

Saba Khattak looks at the impact of the Pakistan nuclear industry on women. She argues that the nuclear programme has a specific impact on women as the poorest and less powerful in their society.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 1999

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