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Middle East

Unmasking the Gaze: Unpacking Colonial Understandings of Gender Programming in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan

Citation:

Abdelrahman, Hadiya. 2020. "Unmasking the Gaze: Unpacking Colonial Understandings of Gender Programming in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan." PhD diss., Fordham University.

Author: Hadiya Abdelrahman

Abstract:

There have been emerging bodies of literature and research that are addressing the colonial roots of humanitarian aid. Research and literature that center humanitarianism in that history aim to disrupt the neutral and impartial framework that informs general understandings of it. In this thesis, I hope to disrupt the notion of its impartiality by contextualizing humanitarian aid, specifically around gender programming, in Zaatari Camp in Jordan through a colonial lens that further perpetuates inequality. By engaging with existing literature around colonial roots of humanitarianism and the colonial gaze around the brown (re: Muslim/Arab) bodies, I will further problematize Zaatari Camp as a space that serves as a continuum of both the roots and gaze of the colonial imagination.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Humanitarian Assistance, Race Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan

Year: 2020

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

Islamist Women’s Feminist Subjectivities in (R)Evolution: The Egyptian Muslim Sisterhood in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings

Citation:

Biagini, Erika. 2020. “Islamist Women’s Feminist Subjectivities in (R)Evolution: The Egyptian Muslim Sisterhood in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprisings.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (3): 382–402.

Author: Erika Biagini

Abstract:

This article draws attention to a young generation of Islamist women activists and to how these women have reacted to the patriarchal tendencies of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movement following the January 25, 2011 revolution in Egypt. Although women’s support was central to the ability of Islamists to win power, after the uprising Islamists failed to grant women significant political rights and autonomy. While the existing literature on gender and nationalism demonstrates that practical gains for women are frequently sidelined by their movements in a post-revolutionary era, there is increasing recognition of the need to examine the relationship between feminism and nationalism in relation to the particular context in which this evolves. This article substantiates this claim with new evidence. Based on a feminist ethnographic study of the Muslim Sisterhood, the female members of the Egyptian MB movement, conducted in Cairo between 2013 and 2018, the article demonstrates that a new gender politics has emerged among Islamist women activists as a result of their engagement in revolutionary struggle. This gender politics has explicit feminist overtones, which have become evident as women begin to challenge men’s position of privilege within the sphere of the family.

Keywords: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Arab Uprisings, Islamist women, feminism, activism, Subjectivity

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Nationalism, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2020

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

"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

Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance

Citation:

Gilbert, Victoria. 2020. “Sister Citizens: Women in Syrian Rebel Governance.” Politics & Gender, 1–28. doi:10.1017/S1743923X20000136.

Author: Victoria Gilbert

Abstract:

In the rich literature on women and conflict, many scholars have assumed that the outbreak of civil war suppresses women’s political involvement. However, during Syria’s civil war, there was significant subnational and temporal variation in the involvement of women in the institutions established by armed groups and civilians in rebel-held areas. Why were some Syrian women able to secure a place for themselves in insurgent governance? How were they able to influence the form of local institutions to secure a role for women? Bringing together the scholarship on social movements and rebel governance, this article argues that two factors determine whether women were able to mobilize politically during conflict: the organizational capacity of women and the strength and ideology of locally active armed groups. The article leverages data on local organizations and institutions in Syria, Syrian news sources, and correspondence with several women’s organizations operating in Syria in 2017. By doing so, this article strives to bring attention to the role of gender in the expanding literature on rebel governance. It also highlights the significance of armed groups’ ideologies, an aspect often dismissed in the literature in favor of a focus on material factors.

Keywords: gender, rebel, rebel governance, insurgent governance, civil war, conflict, institutions, Syria, conflict processes, comparative politics, women, middle east, institutional design

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2020

Gender, Islam and International Frameworks in Yemen

Citation:

Saeed, Muna. "Gender, Islam and International Frameworks in Yemen." Al-Raida Journal 43 (1): 83-92.

Author: Muna Saeed

Abstract:

This paper is intended to explore the intersection of Islam and international frameworks that aim to work on gender development projects in the context of contemporary Yemen. It will examine the opportunities and limitations that may arise when choosing to follow faith-based approaches in order to advocate for women’s human rights and ensure the safety and security of Yemeni women. In particular, I will try to investigate how aligning and contextualizing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) (UNSCR1325) with Islam is advantageous, or necessary for women’s development in the context of Yemen. To support my research question with concrete examples, I will focus on the discourse of child marriage––a persistent practice in Yemen.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Yemen

Year: 2019

Exploring Gender Norms in the Lebanese Internal Security Forces

Citation:

Rougvie, Kate. 2018. "Exploring Gender Norms in the Lebanese Internal Security Forces." Al-Raida Journal 42 (1): 6-19.

Abstract:

Feminist scholarship focusing on security, gender, and conflict indicates gender norms that privilege the masculine and inferiorize the feminine are particularly pronounced within militarized security institutions (Whitworth, 2004). The male-dominated security sector promotes a particular type of masculinity (Connell, 2005), which reinforces gender-blind security institutions (Bastick, n.d.; Valasek, 2008; Enloe, 1983; Enloe, 2007). In this article, I will explore the ways in which this dynamic is produced in the context of Lebanon. I will investigate how social constructions of gender are reinforced by, and shape the nature of Lebanon’s highly militarized police force, and the potential impact of this on its capacity to respond to gendered needs. I will begin by demonstrating the importance of gender perspectives to security theory and discourse. I will then explore the ways in which gender norms manifest in the militarized Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the reasons for, and the impact of this manifestation on their capacity to be a gender-responsive institution. Such an analysis will touch on the role of the police in preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV), and women’s participation in the ISF.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2018

Lebanon, UNSCR 1325, and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Zaiter, Manar. 2018. "Lebanon, UNSCR 1325, and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Al-Raida Journal 42 (1): 39-50.

Author: Manar Zaiter

Abstract:

The Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 1325 (31 October 2000) constitutes an advancement in the international protection of women and girls in times of conflict. It is the first public, legal instrument issued by the Security Council, calling warring parties to respect women’s rights and support their participation in all stages and contexts of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace talks, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response, and post-conflict reconstruction. In view of the situation in the Arab region and of the political, security, economic, cultural, and social context that affects women, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda is of great importance to the entire Arab region.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Humanitarian Assistance, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2018

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