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Middle East

The Lives of Women in a Land Reclamation Project: Gender, Class, Culture and Place in Egyptian Land and Water Management

Citation:

Rap, Edwin, and Martina Jaskolski. 2019. “The Lives of Women in a Land Reclamation Project: Gender, Class, Culture and Place in Egyptian Land and Water Management.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 84–104.

 

 

Authors: Edwin Rap, Martina Jaskolski

Abstract:

This article links feminist political ecology with the academic debate about commoning by focusing on the gendered distribution of common pool resources, in particular land and water. The research is set in the context of a coastal land reclamation project in Egypt’s Nile Delta, in a region where conflicts over resources such as arable land and fresh water are intensifying. Drawing on recent literature on commoning, we analyse the conditions under which different groups of resource users are constrained or enabled to act together. The article presents three case studies of women who represent different groups using land and water resources along the same irrigation canal. Through the concepts of intersectionality, performativity, and gendered subjectivity, this article explores how these women negotiate access to land and water resources to sustain viable livelihoods. The case studies unpack how the intersection of gender, class, culture, and place produces gendered subject positions in everyday resource access, and how this intersectionality either facilitates or constrains commoning. We argue that commoning practices are culturally and spatially specific and shaped by pre-existing resource access. Such access is often unequally structured along categories of class and gender in land reclamation and irrigation projects. 

Keywords: common pool resources, commoning, Egypt, feminist political ecology, gender, intersectionality, Nile, performativity

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2019

Globalisation Masculinities, Empire Building and Forced Prostitution: A Critical Analysis of the Gendered Impact of the Neoliberal Economic Agenda in Post-Invasion/Occupation Iraq

Citation:

Banwell, Stacy. 2015. “Globalisation Masculinities, Empire Building and Forced Prostitution: A Critical Analysis of the Gendered Impact of the Neoliberal Economic Agenda in Post-Invasion/Occupation Iraq.” Third World Quarterly 36 (4): 705–22.

Author: Stacy Banwell

Abstract:

Adopting a transnational feminist lens and using a political economy approach, this article addresses both the direct and indirect consequences of the 2003 war in Iraq, specifically the impact on civilian women. Pre-war security and gender relations in Iraq will be compared with the situation post-invasion/occupation. The article examines the globalised processes of capitalism, neoliberalism and neo-colonialism and their impact on the political, social and economic infrastructure in Iraq. Particular attention will be paid to illicit and informal economies: coping, combat and criminal. The 2003 Iraq war was fought using masculinities of empire, post-colonialism and neoliberalism. Using the example of forced prostitution, the article will argue that these globalisation masculinities – specifically the privatisation agenda of the West and its illegal economic occupation – have resulted in women either being forced into the illicit (coping) economy as a means of survival, or trafficked for sexual slavery by profit-seeking criminal networks who exploit the informal economy in a post-invasion/occupation Iraq. 

Keywords: globalisation masculinities, post-colonialism, neoliberalism, gender-based violence, transnational feminism, political economy

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Economies, Informal Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Political Economies, Security, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2015

Flight

"Two young sisters who arrive in Sweden having fled the war in Syria are becoming teenagers in a new world. They try to hold on to the memories of their once beautiful home while struggling to deal with the repercussions of growing up surrounded by war."

Source: https://laurawadha.com/2017/09/30/flight/

The Pains of the Sea

"Syrian and Iraqi immigrants are trying to cross the sea to reach Turkey. A mother must choose between the life of her child and her own life in the sea."

Source: http://www.splitfilmfestival.hr/the-pains-of-the-sea-mohammad-reza-masoudi/

Tangle

"A glimpse into the life of a girl during wartime."

Source: https://www.siff.net/festival/tangle

Roof Knocking

"In war-stricken Palestine, a woman prepares a meal to break the fast in the month of Ramadan. A phone call by an Israeli soldier alerts her of the bombing of her building in ten minutes. Coming to accept her family’s fate is the only way she can make a stand for her life, with grim consequences."

Source: https://www.roofknockingshortfilm.com/

Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women’s Movement

Citation:

Al-Ali, Nadje. 2000. Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women’s Movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Nadje Al-Ali

Annotation:

Summary:
A considerable literature has been devoted to the study of Islamic activism. By contrast, Nadje Al-Ali's book explores the anthropological and political significance of secular-oriented activism by focusing on the women's movement in Egypt. In so doing, it challenges stereotypical images of Arab women as passive victims and demonstrates how they fight for their rights and confront conservative forces. Al-Ali's book also takes issue with prevailing constructions of 'the West' and its perceived dichotomous relation to 'the East'. The argument is constructed around interviews which afford fascinating insights into the history of the women's movement in Egypt, notions about secularism and how Islamist constituencies have impacted on women's activism generally. The balance between the empirical and conceptual material is adeptly handled. The author frames her work in the context of current theoretical debates in Middle Eastern and post-colonial scholarship: while some of the ideas are complex, her lucid style means they are always comprehensible; the book will therefore appeal to students, as well as to scholars in the field. (Summary from Cambridge University Press)


Table of Contents:
Introduction

1. Up Against Conceptual Frameworks: Post-Orientalism, Occidentalism and Presentations of the Self

2. Contextualizing the Egyptian Women's Movement

3. Self and Generation: Formative Experiences of Egyptian Women Activists

4. Secularism: Challenging Neo-Orientalism and ‘His-Stories’

5. From Words to Deeds: Priorities and Projects of Contemporary Activists

6. A Mirror of Political Culture in Egypt: Divisions and Debates among Women Activists

Conclusion: ‘Standing on Shifting Ground’

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2000

Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present

Citation:

Al-Ali, Nadje Sadiq. 2007. Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present. London: Zed Books.

Author: Nadje Sadiq Al-Ali

Annotation:

Summary:
The war in Iraq has put the condition of Iraqi women firmly on the global agenda. For years, their lives have been framed by state oppression, economic sanctions and three wars. Now they must play a seminal role in reshaping their country's future for the twenty-first century.

Nadje Al-Ali challenges the myths and misconceptions which have dominated debates about Iraqi women, bringing a much needed gender perspective to bear on the central political issue of our time. Based on life stories and oral histories of Iraqi women, she traces the history of Iraq from post-colonial independence, to the emergence of a women's movement in the 1950s, Saddam Hussein's early policy of state feminism to the turn towards greater social conservatism triggered by war and sanctions. Yet, the book also shows that, far from being passive victims, Iraqi women have been, and continue to be, key social and political actors. Following the invasion, Al-Ali analyses the impact of occupation and Islamist movements on women's lives and argues that US-led calls for liberation has led to a greater backlash against Iraqi women. (Summary from ZED Books)

Table of Contents:
Introduction

1. Living in the Diaspora

2. Living with the Revolution

3. Living with the Ba'th

4. Living with Wars on Many Fronts

5. Living with War and Sanctions

6. Living with the Occupation

Conclusion

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Nationalism, Political Participation, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2007

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

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

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