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Middle East

Depicting Victims, Heroines, and Pawns in the Syrian Uprising

Citation:

Szanto, Edith. 2016. “Depicting Victims, Heroines, and Pawns in the Syrian Uprising.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 12 (3): 306–22.

Author: Edith Szanto

Abstract:

During the onslaught of the Islamic caliphate on Kobanî, Syria, media outlets across the globe broadcast pictures of brave and often unveiled Kurdish women fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a quintessentially male force of destruction. The images of women fighting Islamist male aggressors aroused outrage, admiration, and pity among observers. But had all Kurdish fighters been male or had women fought for ISIS, viewers might have reacted differently. To examine some of the most widely disseminated gendered pictures and videos of the Syrian uprising in the media, this article draws on Mohja Kahf’s three categories, which typify how Muslim women, Arab women, or both are perceived by the Anglophone reading and viewing public: the first is victims; the second, escapees; and the third, pawns of patriarchy and male power. While this typology helps in examining gendered images of the Syrian uprising, it also obscures the socioeconomic realities on the ground.

Keywords: female fighters, media, Syrian uprising

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2016

Liberal Militarism as Insecurity, Desire and Ambivalence: Gender, Race and the Everyday Geopolitics of War

Citation:

Basham, Victoria M. 2018. “Liberal Militarism as Insecurity, Desire and Ambivalence: Gender, Race and the Everyday Geopolitics of War.” Security Dialogue 49 (1-2): 32-43.

Author: Victoria M. Basham

Abstract:

The use and maintenance of military force as a means of achieving security makes the identity and continued existence of states as legitimate protectors of populations intelligible. In liberal democracies, however, where individual freedom is the condition of existence, citizens have to be motivated to cede some of that freedom in exchange for security. Accordingly, liberal militarism becomes possible only when military action and preparedness become meaningful responses to threats posed to the social body, not just the state, meaning that it relies on co-constitutive practices of the geopolitical and the everyday. Through a feminist discursive analysis of British airstrikes in Syria and attendant debates on Syrian refugees, I examine how liberal militarism is animated through these co-constitutive sites, with differential effects. Paying particular attention to gender and race, I argue that militarism is an outcome of social practices characterized as much by everyday desires and ambivalence as by fear and bellicosity. Moreover, I aim to show how the diffuse and often uneven effects produced by liberal militarism actually make many liberal subjects less secure. I suggest therefore that despite the claims of liberal states that military power provides security, for many militarism is insecurity.

Keywords: critical military studies, desire and ambivalence, everyday, gender and race, insecurity, liberal militarism

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race, Security Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Syria, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article

Citation:

Arnot, Madeline. 2011. “Conflict, Religion and Gender Hegemonies – The Implications for Global Citizenship Education: A Response to Islah Jad’s article.” Ethnicities 11 (3): 373-77.

Author: Madeleine Arnot

Annotation:

Summary:
"Islah Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement has historical specificity as a result of Palestine’s political history as a transitional/provisional state that has experienced devastating interventions by Israel into its allocated territory, and exceptional levels of international attention. Yet Jad’s account of the Palestinian women’s movement also resonates in an uncannily familiar way with other histo-ries of the women’s movements internationally. In Gramscian terms, there are a variety of forms of hegemonic power and different counter-hegemonic strategies that can affect women’s movements. In this account, male hegemony (inflected by social class, ethnicity and sexuality) plays a crucial role in the interfaces between international hegemony over economic development, and religious hegemony. When women are symbolically constructed as the epitome of the nation, there is more at stake in the liberation of women than just gender politics. Gender is the lens through which we can understand the battles over citizenship, national identity and power (c.f. Fennell and Arnot, 2007).
 
We are at a critical moment in social science particularly in the North, where we are being called upon to rethink our categories, assumptions, interpretations and agendas to let in the realities of different worlds. Challenging the assumptions of ‘methodological nationalism’ (Beck, 2000), southern feminists from Africa and India have argued that the framing of gender theory in northern contexts has often imposed inappropriate gender categorizations, concepts of motherhood and sexual embodiments, whilst neglecting the different communal cultures, family structures and gender identities found in southern cultures (Fennell and Arnot, 2008).
 
One aspect of this hegemonic gender theory has been the denial of the role of spirituality and religion; indeed, Jad argues that northern forms of the women’s movement are secular (if not atheist!). Within Jad’s article lies a fundamental issue – how can northern gender theorists understand the role of religious conflict between nations and the religious shaping of the women’s movement within national struggles? I think it is fair to say that gender studies has constructed religions as obstacles to the achievement of gender equality not least because of their enforcement or reinforcement of male superiority and power. As a result, it is hard to envisage religion as anything but an impediment to the advancement of female citizenship.
 
In this response, I highlight three relevant themes: 1. gender and education in transitional states; 2. the universalism and secularization of human rights; and 3.national gender identities, religion and militarization" (Arnot 2011, 373).

Topics: Citizenship, Class, Development, Conflict, Education, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Rights, Human Rights, Religion, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2011

Cleansing the Caliphate: Insurgent Violence against Sexual Minorities

Citation:

Tschantret, Joshua. 2018. "Cleansing the Caliphate: Insurgent Violence against Sexual Minorities." International Studies Quarterly 62 (2): 260-73.

Author: Joshua Tschantret

Abstract:

Why do insurgents target certain groups for extermination? Despite a great deal of attention to the targeting of civilian ethnic minorities, comparatively little scholarship exists on insurgent violence against sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual individuals). This article maintains that the decision to target sexual minorities follows three distinct logics: two strategic and one ideological. First, insurgents face an incentive to outbid rivals by targeting sexual minorities when homophobic violence is politically and socially legitimated. Second, territorial control creates an incentive for insurgents to signal their ability to selectively punish, which they can accomplish through homophobic violence. Third, revolutionary ideologies provide legitimation for exclusionary violence in the pursuit of transforming society. Statistical analysis of insurgent violence against sexual minorities from 1985 to 2015 lends strong support for these arguments. Process tracing of the spread of violence against sexual minorities in Iraq and Syria clarifies the strategic causal mechanisms. When progovernment militias targeted perceived homosexuals with impunity, antigay violence was adopted by insurgent groups seeking to legitimize their claims to power; violence then quickly spread to competing insurgents. Two additional cases from Latin America demonstrate that ideology plays an important role in influencing which groups embrace homophobic violence even under these strategic constraints.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militias, Sexuality, Violence Regions: MENA, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East Countries: Colombia, Iraq, Peru, Syria

Year: 2018

A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change

Citation:

Buechler, Stephanie, and Anne-Marie S. Hanson, eds. 2015. A Political Ecology of Women, Water and Global Environmental Change. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Stephanie Buechler, ed. , Anne-Marie S. Hanson, ed.

Annotation:

Summary:
This edited volume explores how a feminist political ecology framework can bring fresh insights to the study of rural and urban livelihoods dependent on vulnerable rivers, lakes, watersheds, wetlands and coastal environments. Bringing together political ecologists and feminist scholars from multiple disciplines, the book develops solution-oriented advances to theory, policy and planning to tackle the complexity of these global environmental changes. Using applied research on the contemporary management of groundwater, springs, rivers, lakes, watersheds and coastal wetlands in Central and South Asia, Northern, Central and Southern Africa, and South and North America, the authors draw on a variety of methodological perspectives and new theoretical approaches to demonstrate the importance of considering multiple layers of social difference as produced by and central to the effective governance and local management of water resources. This unique collection employs a unifying feminist political ecology framework that emphasizes the ways that gender interacts with other social and geographical locations of water resource users. In doing so, the book further questions the normative gender discourses that underlie policies and practices surrounding rural and urban water management and climate change, water pollution, large-scale development and dams, water for crop and livestock production and processing, resource knowledge and expertise, and critical livelihood studies. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of environmental studies, development studies, feminist and environmental geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental philosophy, public policy, planning, media studies, Latin American and other area studies, as well as women’s and gender studies. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Introduction: Towards a Feminist Political Ecology of Women, Global Change and Vulnerable Waterscapes

Anne-Marie Hanson and Stephanie Buechler

2. Interrogating Large-Scale Development and Inequality in Lesotho: Bridging Feminist Political Ecology, Intersectionality and Environmental Justice Frameworks
Yvonne Braun

3. The Silent (and Gendered) Violence: Understanding Water Access in Mining Areas
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

4. Urban Water Visibility in Los Angeles: Legibility and Access for All
Kathleen Kambic

5. Advances and Setbacks in Women’s Participation in Water Management in Brazil
Andrea Moraes

6. Climate-Water Challenges and Gendered Adaptation Strategies in Rayon, a Riparian Community in Sonora, Mexico
Stephanie Buechler

7. International Partnerships of Women for Sustainable Watershed Governance in Times of Climate Change
Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins and Patricia Figuieredo Walker

8. Women’s Contributions to Climate Change Adaptation in Egypt’s Mubarak Resettlement Scheme through Cactus Cultivation and Adjusted Irrigation
Dina Najjar

9. Shoes in the Seaweed and Bottles on the Beach: Global Garbage and Women’s Oral Histories of Socio-Environmental Change in Coastal Yucatán
Anne-Marie Hanson

10. Heen Kas’ el’ti Zoo: Among the Ragged Lakes – Storytelling and Collaborative Water Research with Carcoss/Tagish First Nation (Yukon Territory, Canada)
Eleanor Hayman with Mark Wedge and Colleen James

11. Pamiri Women and the Melting Glaciers of Tajikistan: A Visual Knowledge Exchange for Improved Environmental Governance
Citt Williams and Ivan Golovnev

12. Conclusion: Advancing Disciplinary Scholarship on Gender, Water and Environmental Change through Feminist Political Ecology
Stephanie Buechler, Anne-Marie Hanson, Diana Liverman and Miriam Gay-Antaki

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Intersectionality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Lesotho, Mexico

Year: 2015

Women's War: Gender Activism in the Vietnam War and in the Wars for Kurdish Autonomy

Citation:

Chaguri, Mariana Miggiolaro, and Flávia X. M. Paniz. 2019. "Women's War: Gender Activism in the Vietnam War and in the Wars for Kurdish Autonomy." Sociologia & Antropologia 9 (3): 895-918.

Authors: Mariana Miggiolaro Chaguri, Flávia X. M. Paniz

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This paper debates women’s activism in two events: the Vietnam War (1954-1975) and the historical Kurdish struggle for autonomy (known as “Kurdish question”). We hypothesize that the reorganization of gender roles during the conflicts marks the meanings of wars and configures what we call a woman for the times of war, that is, a woman who transits across the spaces of public confrontation, armed conflict and domesticity. The approach outlined here is structured into three parts: the first and the second ones present aspects of both conflicts by pointing to possible convergences and differences between them; we also present the variety of networks of participation and activism of women in both cases. In the third and final part, we discuss the interfaces among the production of gender, war, and ideas, crossing a manifold of narratives, experiences, and stories that reveal different dimensions of wars and nations, and the diversity of the regimes of ideas that attached to them.

PORTUGUESE ABSTRACT:
Este artigo problematiza a participação e debate o ativismo de mulheres em dois eventos: a Guerra do Vietnã (1954-1975) e as guerras pelo Curdistão (1923 em diante). Como hipótese, sustentamos que tais lutas podem ser lidas a partir do esforço comum de tornar inteligível e nomear um conjunto variado de experiências que, reorganizadas a partir ou em função do conflito armado, produzem novas mediações entre gênero e nação. O artigo está dividido em três partes: nas duas primeiras, são apresentados aspectos dos dois conflitos apontando eventuais convergências e diferenças; na sequência, observam-se as variadas formas de participação e de ativismo de mulheres existentes nos dois casos; finalmente, são debatidas as interfaces entre a produção do gênero, da guerra e das ideias, percorrendo uma multiplicidade de narrativas, experiências e relatos que apontam para a dimensão heterogênea das guerras, das nações e, portanto, do regime de ideias que deve acompanhá-las.

Keywords: gender, war, nation and nationalism, post-colonial feminism, gênero, guerra, nação e nacionalismo, feminismo pós-colonial

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Nationalism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia Countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Living in War versus Non-war Zone Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing a Pharmacist Intervention

Citation:

Alkoudsi, Kinda T., and Iman A. Basheti. 2020. "Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Living in War versus Non-war Zone Countries: A Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing a Pharmacist Intervention.Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy 16 (5): 689-98.

Authors: Kinda T. Alkoudsi, Iman A. Basheti

Abstract:

Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a serious health problem. In women experiencing PCOS, there are myriad physical and mental health consequences; anxiety/depression are commonly associated with this condition. Community pharmacists are in a pivotal position to identify and help women diagnosed with PCOS. Objectives: To investigate the prevalence/severity of anxiety/depression among females diagnosed with PCOS living in Syria (a war-zone country) and Jordan (a non-war zone country). Secondly, to evaluate the impact of a pharmaceutical care service delivered by a clinical pharmacist on participants’ anxiety/depression severity. 
 
Methods: Females, diagnosed with PCOS above the age of 16, were recruited into the study and randomly allocated into either the active or the control group. The active group participants received a PCOS pharmaceutical care service. This service involved the provision of verbal and written educational materials, with a special focus on diet and exercise. The control group participants received only standard counseling. Both groups were followed up for four months. All participants completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory at baseline and follow-up. 
 
Results: Data from study participants (n = 118) from both Syria (n = 60) and Jordan (n = 58) highlighted a high prevalence of anxiety (Syria = 95% vs. Jordan = 98%) and depression (Syria = 83% vs. Jordan = 65%). At follow-up, active group participants, from both countries, showed significant improvements in anxiety and depression mean scores (anxiety: Syria = 34.97 ± 14.8 vs. 30.47 ± 14.3, p < 0.001; Jordan = 26.93 ± 13.7 vs. 23.37 ± 15.2, p < 0.001; depression: Syria = 26.53 ± 12.6 vs. 22.93 ± 12.2, p < 0.001; Jordan = 17.70 ± 11.0 vs. 15.76 ± 11.1, p = 0.049). No significant improvements were evident for control group participants from either countries. 
 
Conclusion: Prevalence of anxiety/depression for females with PCOS living in Syria and in Jordan is high and calls for special attention by healthcare specialists and policymakers in both countries. Females, who received the PCOS pharmaceutical care service, showed significant improvements in anxiety/depression scores. Improvements were similar in both countries.

Keywords: polycystic ovary syndrome, war, anxiety, depression

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan, Syria

Year: 2020

Male-Female Wage Differential in the West Bank: A Gender-Based Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Citation:

Loewenthal, Amit, and Sami H. Miaari. 2020. "Male-Female Wage Differential in the West Bank: A Gender-Based Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Defence and Peace Economics. doi:10.1080/10242694.2020.1768340.

Authors: Amit Loewenthal, Sami H. Miaari

Abstract:

This paper studies the gender wage differential in the Palestinian labor market of the West Bank before, during, and in the aftermath of the second Intifada. We combine data on the Palestinian labor force, politically motivated fatalities of Palestinians, and movement restrictions in the West Bank, in order to quantify the effect of political violence on the gender wage gap. We find that political violence during the second Intifada decreased the gender wage gap. We also observe a long-term trend of more women entering the labor force, especially in middle-income occupations where there is an existing large share of female employees. Political violence did not seem to reverse or hurt that trend. We provide suggestive evidence that the reduction in the wage gap is due to the increased supply of low-skilled men, who previously worked in Israel and entered the local labor market due to the Intifada.

Keywords: conflict, gender, wage gap, Intifada, palestine

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Livelihoods, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2020

Violence against Displaced Syrian Women in Lebanon

Citation:

Usta, Jinan, Amelia Reese Masterson, and JoAnn M. Farver. 2019. "Violence against Displaced Syrian Women in Lebanon." Journal of Interpersonal Violence 34 (18): 3767-79.

Authors: Jinan Usta, Amelia Reese Masterson, JoAnn M. Farver

Abstract:

This study used focus group discussions to explore 29 Syrian women’s experiences of being displaced refugees in Lebanon. Women reported intimate partner violence (IPV), harassment, and community violence. They experienced difficult living conditions characterized by crowding and lack of privacy, adult unemployment, and overall feelings of helplessness. Most frequently, they used negative coping strategies, including justification and acceptance of IPV and often physically harmed their own children due to heightened stress. Some sought support from other Syrian refugee women. Although the study did not address the root causes of IPV, the results shed light on women’s experiences and indicate that training them in positive coping strategies and establishing support groups would help them face IPV that occurs in refugee settings.

Keywords: refugee, crowding, Intimate partner violence, Syria, Lebanon

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Syria

Year: 2019

Asymmetry in Cross-Conflict Collaboration: Is There a Gender Factor?

Citation:

Golan, Galia. 2011. "Asymmetry in Cross-Conflict Collaboration: Is There a Gender Factor?" Peace and Conflict Studies18 (2): 164-91.

Author: Galia Golan

Abstract:

Asymmetry of power is an acknowledged phenomenon in negotiation, and there are a number of devices for dealing with it. Similarly, alternative dispute resolution seeks to neutralize asymmetry of power by using an interest-based model of cross-conflict collaboration, but research has indicated that asymmetry persists nonetheless. The role of gender in negotiation has been researched, and to a far lesser degree, also with regard to alternative dispute resolution. Some of the gender in negotiation research has introduced the element of asymmetry of power as well. Prompted by the highlighting of asymmetry in Israeli-Palestinian all-women alternative dispute resolution (cross-conflict collaboration), the present article seeks to determine the role of gender, comparing asymmetry in mixed groups with all-women’s groups. A qualitative analysis, based on observations over decades of personal experience, finds only differences of degree rather than essence between predominantly-male mixed and all-women’s groups regarding the effects of asymmetry. The major exception to this lies in the centrality accorded the phenomenon by women but not by men, possibly attributable to gender differences in group relations and also the feminist character of the all-female groups.

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2011

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