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Central Europe

Syrian Refugees in Germany: Gendered Narratives of Border Crossings

Isis Nusair

September 27, 2018

Campus Center, Room 3550B, UMass Boston

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This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Department of Anthropology; Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; Department of History; Department of Political Science; Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Honors College; the Sociology Club; the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies; and the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences.

Gender Budgeting in G7 Countries


International Monetary Fund. 2017. “Gender Budgeting in G7 Countries.” Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund

Author: International Monetary Fund


"Executive Summary:
At the request of the Italian Presidency of the G7, the IMF has prepared a paper on gender-budgeting as a contribution to the G7 initiative on equality. The paper provides an overview of gender-responsive budgeting concepts and practices in the G7 countries. It summarizes recent trends in gender equality in G7 and advanced countries, noting that while equality has improved overall, exceptions and gaps remain.
Recognizing that many fiscal policies have gender-related implications, this paper:
Sets out the main fiscal policy instruments, both expenditure and tax, that have a significant impact on gender equality.
Provides a conceptual framework for the public financial management (PFM) institutions that play an enabling role in implementing gender-responsive fiscal policies. These instruments include gender budget statements, gender impact assessments, performance-related budget frameworks, and gender audits. Ministries of finance have an especially important role in promoting and coordinating gender budgeting, and associated analytical tools.
Provides an assessment of the status of gender budgeting in the G7 countries. In preparing the paper, the IMF carried out a survey of PFM institutions and practices in the G7, as well as in three comparator countries that are relatively strong performers in developing gender-responsive budgeting (Austria, Belgium, and Spain). This information was complemented by other sources, including recent studies by the OECD and the World Bank.
The main policy implications and conclusions of the paper include:
Well-structured fiscal policies and sound PFM systems have the potential to contribute to gender equality, furthering the substantial progress already made by the G7 countries.
While G7 countries have made effective use of a wide range of fiscal and non-fiscal policies to reduce gender inequalities, there has generally been less progress in developing effective gender-specific PFM institutions; embedding a gender dimension in the normal budgeting and policy-making routines varies across G7 countries and is not done systematically.
Fiscal policy instruments of relevance to increasing gender equality include the use of tax and tax benefits to increase the supply of female labor, improved family benefits, subsidized child-care, other social benefits that increase the net return to women’s work, and incentives for businesses to encourage the hiring of women" (IMF)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Budgeting, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, East Asia, Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United States of America

Year: 2017

Body and Soul: Forced Sterilization and Other Assaults on Roma Reproductive Freedom in Slovakia


Zampas, Christina, et al. “Body and Soul: Forced Sterilization and Other Assaults on Roma Reproductive Freedom in Slovakia.” 2003. New York: Center for Reproductive Rights.

Authors: Christina Zampas, Ina Zoon, Sneha Barot, Barbora Bukovska

Annotation: “In late 2002, the Center for Reproductive Rights in collaboration with Poradňa pre občianske a I’udské práva (Centre for Civil and Human Rights, hereinafter Poradňa), a Slovak human rights organization, and Ina Zoon, an expert consultant on minority rights issues, conducted a human rights fact-finding mission involving in-depth private interviews with more than 230 women in almost 40 Romani settlements throughout eastern Slovakia, the region with the highest concentration of Roma, on topics including sterilization practices, treatment by health-care professionals in maternal health-care facilities and access to reproductive health-care information. We also interviewed Slovak hospital directors, doctors, nurses, patients, government officials, activists, and non-governmental organizations regarding these same issues. Our research has uncovered widespread violations of Romani women’s human rights, specifically reproductive rights, in eastern Slovakia that include the following: • coerced and forced sterilization; • misinformation in reproductive health matters; • racially discriminatory access to health-care resources and treatment; • physical and verbal abuse by medical providers; and • denial of access to medical records. Slovakia is scheduled to become a member state of the European Union (EU) in 2004. This membership confers economic benefits as well as political and social responsibilities on members in accordance with the aquis, the EU’s legal framework. Overshadowing this historic moment, however, is the Slovak government’s continued denial of the human rights of minority Romani women. Discrimination against the Roma is historically based, stretching back several centuries. In modern times, persecution of the Roma was enforced under the Nazi regime through, among other things, a policy of forced sterilization. This practice was continued during communist times in Czechoslovakia, when Romani women were specifically targeted for sterilization through government laws and programs that provided monetary incentives and condoned misinformation and coercion. The Slovak government claims these programs were dismantled following the fall of communism in 1989. However, our fact-finding reveals that serious human rights violations continue despite the official change in the most obviously problematic law. Indeed, our fact-finding clearly indicates that discrimination against Romani women remains deeply and disturbingly entrenched in Slovak society. Government officials and health-care providers today openly condone attitudes and practices that violate the bodily integrity, health rights and human dignity of Romani women in need of reproductive health-care services. Romani women are particularly vulnerable to multiple forms of discrimination because they bear the double burden of both race and gender stereotypes.” (Zampas et al. 2003, 14)

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Reproductive Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Slovakia

Year: 2003

The Precarity of Feminisation: On Domestic Work, Heteronormativity and the Coloniality of Labour


Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Encarnación. 2014. “The Precarity of Feminisation: On Domestic Work, Heteronormativity and the Coloniality of Labour.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 27 (2): 191–202. doi:10.1007/s10767-013-9154-7.

Author: Encarnación Gutiérrez-Rodríguez


Despite women’s increasing participation in the labour market and attempts to transform the traditional gendered division of work, domestic and care work is still perceived as women’s terrain. This work continues to be invisible in terms of the organisation of production or productive value and domestic and care work continues to be unpaid or low paid. Taking domestic and care work as an expression of the feminisation of labour, this article will attempt to complicate this analysis by first exploring a queer critique of feminisation, and second, by situating feminisation within the context of the coloniality of power. Drawing on research conducted in Austria, Germany, Spain and the UK on the organisation of domestic work in private households, the article will conclude with some observations on the interconnectedness of feminisation, heteronormativity and the coloniality of power in the analysis of the expansion of precarity in the EU zone.

Keywords: coloniality, feminisation, Europe, heteronormativity, precarity

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Europe, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Austria, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom

Year: 2014

Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany: Where Have All the Young Women Gone?: Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany


Kröhnert, Steffen, and Sebastian Vollmer. 2012. “Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany: Where Have All the Young Women Gone?: Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany.” International Migration 50 (5): 95–112. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2012.00750.x.

Authors: Steffen Kröhnert, Sebastian Vollmer


With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, open migration from East to West Germany became possible. Between 1989 and 2007, roughly 10 percent of the East’s population at the time of reunification migrated from east to west. The emigrants were predominantly young and female. This selective migration pattern led to a tremendous deficit of females in the 18–29 year old age group in eastern Germany. Overall, the sex ratio in that age group is as low as 89 females per 100 males in the east. In some rural counties, the sex ratio is 80 females per 100 males. We find that excess female emigration at the county level is associated with gender disparities in educational attainment that favour women, a labour market structure that favours men and the lower availability of potential partners with similar levels of education in eastern Germany.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Balance Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2012

Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists


Bloom, Mia. 2011. Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists. London: Hurst Publishers.

Author: Mia Bloom


The ultimate stealth weapon, female terrorists kill on average four times more people than their male counterparts. But why are more women drawn to terrorism than ever before? Do women volunteer to be terrorists, or are they coerced? Does women’s participation in terrorism have any positive impact on their place in society?

In Bombshell, Mia Bloom seeks to understand what motivates women and to redress the gap in our understanding of women’s roles by interviewing women previously involved in terrorist groups. Bloom provides a unique and rare first-hand glimpse into the psychology, culture and social networks of women who become terrorists. Bombshell takes an in-depth look at women involved in terrorism in Chechnya, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

Drawing on primary research and secondary literature, Bloom examines the increasing role of women in terrorism, and considers what it means for the societies from which they come.

(Hurst Publishers)

Keywords: gender studies, terrorism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Terrorism Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2011

Performing Refugeeness in the Czech Republic: Gendered Depoliticisation through NGO Assistance


Szczepanikova, Alice. 2010. “Performing Refugeeness in the Czech Republic: Gendered Depoliticisation through NGO Assistance.” Gender, Place & Culture 17 (4): 461–77. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2010.485838.

Author: Alice Szczepanikova


The article examines the gender micropolitics of non-governmental assistance to refugees in the Czech Republic – a post-socialist society which is becoming a country of immigration. It critically examines relations of power between refugees and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs). These NGOs act as mediators between refugees and the state, media, wider public and academic production of knowledge. It is argued that despite the important roles they play in securing refugees' access to rights, their assistance is often perceived as problematic by refugees. The article analyses these relations in a wider context of the institutions of the refugee system where the state has increasing power in defining the conditions under which NGO assistance to refugees is provided. The study is based on qualitative research among recognised refugees from the former Soviet Union living in the Czech Republic and local NGOs assisting them with integration into society. I demonstrate how particular forms of assistance and public representation depoliticise refugees in a sense of fostering rather than challenging unequal power relations that lock refugees in a position of clients lacking political means of influencing their place in a receiving society. This is done by conceptualising ‘a refugee’ as a performative identity that is being produced and enacted in feminised NGO spaces. The analysis highlights refugees' critical reflections on their position in the relations of assistance.

Keywords: NGO assistance to refugees, depoliticisation, Czech Republic, gender, power relations

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Czech Republic

Year: 2010

Women and the Military in Europe: Comparing Public Cultures


Eulriet, Irène. 2012. Women and the Military in Europe: Comparing Public Cultures. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. t

Author: Irène Eulriet


This book explores how public cultures shape women's military participation within the European Union. It analyzes the way in which different policy options have been elaborated in the United Kingdom, France and Germany and examines patterns of women's military participation across societies.
(Palgrave Macmillan)

Keywords: international relations, gender studies, social policy, sociology of work, organizational studies, economic sociology, military and defence studies

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe Countries: France, Germany, United Kingdom

Year: 2012

The Present Tense of Afghanistan: Accounting for Space, Time and Gender in Processes of Militarisation


Hyde, Alexandra. 2016. “The Present Tense of Afghanistan: Accounting for Space, Time and Gender in Processes of Militarisation.” Gender, Place & Culture 23 (6): 857–68. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1058759.


Author: Alexandra Hyde


Based on ethnographic research among women married to servicemen, this article explores the diffusion of militarisation across time as well as social space. The study setting is a garrison town in Germany during the deployment of women's husbands to Afghanistan. Rather than prioritising the grand narratives of linear time prevalent in IR and military history, however, this article takes into account cyclical and everyday modes of temporality that have traditionally been associated (and undervalued) as feminised ‘zones’, including reproduction, the domestic sphere and local social space. The article explores the temporal register of an operational tour and demonstrates the material, discursive and emotional labour undertaken by military wives in smoothing and converting this rupture into stability through everyday practices. Accounting for the diffusion of militarisation over time as well as space in this way provides further evidence that its causes and effects are intricately gendered.

Keywords: militarisation, temporality, contingency, war, home

Topics: Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Germany

Year: 2016

Interlinking Gender Responsiveness and Participation in Public Budgeting Processes


Frey, Regina. 2015. “Interlinking Gender Responsiveness and Participation in Public Budgeting Processes.” In Gender Responsive and Participatory Budgeting, edited by Cecilia Ng, 18–31. SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace 22. Springer International Publishing. 

Author: Regina Frey


This chapter examines the links between participatory budgeting and gender budgeting discourses, analysing similarities, differences and tensions. What can actors involved in participatory processes learn from a gender discourse, and what can actors working to achieve gender equality learn from discourses on participation? Assuming the main objectives of gender responsive budgeting are gender equality, greater transparency, empowerment of disempowered social groups and more effective budgeting, this chapter discusses the challenges and opportunities for social change in these processes in light of the German experience.

Keywords: GRB, Germany, PB, gender equality, participation, Budget cycle

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Budgeting, Governance Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2015


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