Religion

Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2013. Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Author: Valentine M. Moghadam

Annotation:

Summary:
The subject of this study is social change in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan ; its impact on women's legal status and social positions ; and women's varied responses to, and involvment in, change processes. It also deals with constructions of gender during periods of social and political change. Social change is usually described in terms of modernization, revolution, cultural challenges, and social movements. Much of the standard literature on these topics does not examine women or gender, and thus [the author] hopes this study will contribute to an appreciation of the significance of gender in the midst of change. Neither are there many sociological studies on MENA and Afghansitan or studies on women in MENA and Afghanistan from a sociological perspective. Myths and stereotypes abund regarding women, Islam, and the region, and the events of September 11 and since have only compounded them. This book is intended in part to "normalize" the Middle East by underscoring the salience of structural determinants other than religion. It focuses on the major social-change processes in the region to show how women's lives are shaped not only by "Islam" and "culture", but also by economic development, the state, class location, and the world system. Why the focus on women? It is [the author's] contention that middle-class women are consciously and unconsciously major agents of social change in the region, at the vanguard of movements for modernity, democratization and citizenship. (Summary from Google Books)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Recasting the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan
 
2. Economic Development, State Policy, and Women's Employment
 
3. Reforms, Revolutions, and the Woman Question
 
4. Patriarchy, and the Changing Family
 
5. Islamist Movements and Women's Responses
 
6. Iran: from Islamization to Islamic Feminism, and Beyond?
 
7. Afghanistan: Revolution, Reaction, and Attempted Reconstruction
 
8. All That Is Solid Melts into Air

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iran

Year: 2013

Gender, Conflict, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325

Citation:

Shekhawat, Seema, ed. 2018. Gender, Conflict, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Author: Seema Shekhawat

Annotation:

Summary:
"There is an increasing amount of literature on various aspects of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. While appreciating this scholarship, this volume highlights some of the omissions and concerns to make a quality addition to the ongoing discourse on the intersection of gender with peace and security with a focus on 1325. It aims at a reality-check of the impressive to-dos list as the seventeen years since the Resolution passed provide an occasion to pause and ponder over the gap between the aspirations and the reality, the ideal and the practice, the promises and the action, the euphoria and the despair. The volume compiles carefully selected essays woven around Resolution 1325 to tease out the intricacies within both the Resolution and its implementation. Through a cocktail of well-known and some lesser-known case studies, the volume addresses complicated realities with the intention of impacting policy-making and the academic fields of gender, peace, and security. The volume emphasizes the significance of transforming formal peace making processes, and making them gender inclusive and gender sensitive by critically examining some omissions in the challenges that the Resolution implementation confronts. The major question the volume seeks to address is this: where are women positioned in the formal peace-making seventeen years after the adoption of Resolution 1325?" (Shekhawat 2018)
 
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Gender, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325
Seema Shekhawat
 
1. Redefining Women’s Roles in Internationl and Regional Law: The Case of Pre- and Post-War Peacebuilding in Liberia
Veronica Fynn Bruey
 
2. The Contribution of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325
Antal Berkes
 
3. Faith Matters in Women, Peace, and Security Practices
Elisabeth Porter
 
4. Creating or Improving a National Action Plan Based on UN Security Council Resolution 1325
Jan Marie Fritz
 
5. Widowhood Issues for Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Subsequent Resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security
Margaret Owen
 
6. The Commodification of Intervention: The Example of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Corey Barr
 
7. Beyond Borders and Binaries: A Feminist Look at Preventing Violence and Achieving Peace in an Era of Mass Migration
Aurora E. Bewicke
 
8. The Disconnection between Theory and Practice: Achieving Item 8b of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325
Onyinyechukwu Onyido
 
9. Gender and Feminism in the Israeli Peace Movement: Beyond UNSCR 1325
Amanda Bennett
 
10. Conflict Ghosts: The Significance of UN Resolution 1325 for the Syrian Women in Years of Conflict
Emanuela C. Del Re
 
11. The UNSC Resolution 1325 and Cypriot Women’s Activism: Achievements and Challenges
Maria Hadjipavlou and Olga Demetriou
 
12. Victims, Nationalists, and Supporters: UNSCR 1325 and the Roles of Ethnic Women’s Organizations in Peacebuilding in Burma/Myanmar
Mollie Pepper
 
13. Gender and the Building Up of Many “Peaces”: A Decolonial Perspective from Colombia
Priscyll Anctil Avoine, Yuly Andrea Mejia Jerez, and Rachel Tillman
 
14. “It’s All About Patriarchy”: UNSCR 1325, Cultural Constrains, and Women in Kashmir
Seema Shekhawat

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Gender, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Colombia, Cyprus, India, Israel, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria

Year: 2018

Gendered Politics of Funerary Processions: Contesting Indian Sovereignty in Kashmir

Citation:

Malik, Inshah. 2018. “Gendered Politics of Funerary Processions: Contesting Indian Sovereignty in Kashmir.” Economic & Political Weekly 53 (47): 63-66.

Author: Inshah Malik

Abstract:

On 8 July 2016, Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani was killed by the Indian army, setting in motion unprecedented funerary processional grieving. Using accounts of funerals of militants and civilians, gendered funerary processions and the transformation of gendered cultures of grieving in Kashmir have been analysed. It is argued that women’s participation in the militant and civilian funerary processions is a feminist political formulation in the Kashmiri context. This is understood through a review of the politics of funeral attendance and two specific actions that women undertake: publicising grief by bringing the private out into the contested public realm, thus outdoing religious law, and resisting the state’s sovereignty by grieving for lives that the state deems “non-grievable.”

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Political Participation, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

The Role of Women in Post-IS Jihadist Transformation and in Countering Extremism

Citation:

Perešin, Anita. 2019. "The Role of Women in Post-IS Jihadist Transformation and in Countering Extremism." In Militant Jihadism: Today and Tomorrow, edited by Serafetti Pektas and Johan Leman, 101-22. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

Author: Anita Perešin

Annotation:

Summary:
"Many jihadist organisations have recognised the importance of women in jihad and have systematically used them for their activities for decades. Female jihadists can be found in different jihadist organisations – from Afghanistan, Chechnya and Palestine to Syria, Iraq and the African continent – where their role is viewed as being as important as that of their male counterparts. The presence of female jihadists in Western countries is also on the rise.
 
With the proclamation of the Caliphate of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, the role of women in jihadist organisations received global publicity. By presenting and encouraging women as essential for the establishment of the new Muslim umma and preserving its longevity, IS introduced a new phase in its employment of women for the jihadist cause. The group succeeded in attracting more women from the West, both convert and born Muslims, than any other jihadist group had been able to do in the past. It also introduced a broad spectrum of roles that could be filled by women, not only in the territory where IS had gained control but also in their home countries. By giving the same importance to muhajirat1 and domestic female jihadists, and by promoting both passive and active roles for them in jihad, IS created a new generation of female jihadists and a “network of sisters”, motivated by a sense of empowerment and willing to support the group’s long-term objectives.
 
Strategically planned female jihadist activities, supported by a continuous promotion of their roles via the Internet, have made it possible for IS to continue to employ women for its global operations, even after the collapse of the Caliphate. The transformation of the group and its loss of “credibility” in governing the so-called Islamic State did not, in fact, diminish or extinguish its attractiveness for women. The group has given women the ability to keep their roles in the post-IS transformation era and has afforded itself the capacity to continue to be a prominent actor on the global jihadist scene. Such global promotion of women in jihad can motivate other jihadist groups to increase the employment of female cadres for their cause or to motivate radicalised women to act as lone wolves.
 
There are already many examples of women’s engagement in jihadist activities in Western countries. According to the European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (EUROPOL, 2017: 22), one in four people arrested in 2016 for terrorism-related offences were women. The 2017 report of the Dutch Intelligence Service (AIVD) on jihadist women warns that the threat women pose should not be underestimated (AIVD, 2017). A report from The Heritage Foundation in the same year also notes “a marked jump in the involvement of women in terrorist plots in Europe over the previous two years”2 (Barret, 2017: 24). Such dramatic growth of female involvement in jihadist terrorism leads to the “feminisation of jihad” (Brill Olcott and Haqqani, 2004),3 a trend that is expected to rise in the future. But it also offers the opportunity to take advantage of the presence of women in the counter-terrorism field, to more effectively counter jihadist narratives and plans, thanks to the former’s better insight into the mentality and approaches of the female terrorists" (Perešin 2019, 101-2).

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Religion, Terrorism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2019

Real Men Don’t Eat (Vegetable) Quiche: Masculinity and the Justification of Meat Consumption

Citation:

Rothgerber, Hank. 2013. “Real Men Don’t Eat (Vegetable) Quiche: Masculinity and the Justification of Meat Consumption.” Psychology of Men & Masculinity 14 (4): 363–75. 

Author: Hank Rothgerber

Abstract:

As arguments become more pronounced that meat consumption harms the environment, public health, and animals, meat eaters should experience increased pressure to justify their behavior. Results of a first study showed that male undergraduates used direct strategies to justify eating meat, including endorsing pro-meat attitudes, denying animal suffering, believing that animals are lower in a hierarchy than humans and that it is human fate to eat animals, and providing religious and health justifications for eating animals. Female undergraduates used the more indirect strategies of dissociating animals from food and avoiding thinking about the treatment of animals. A second study found that the use of these male strategies was related to masculinity. In the two studies, male justification strategies were correlated with greater meat consumption, whereas endorsement of female justification strategies was correlated with less meat and more vegetarian consumption. These findings are among the first to empirically verify Adams’s (1990) theory on the sexual politics of meat linking feminism and vegetarianism. They suggest that to simply make an informational appeal about the benefits of a vegetarian diet may ignore a primary reason why men eat meat: It makes them feel like real men. 

Keywords: vegetarianism, meat eating, masculinity, meat justification

Topics: Environment, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Religion

Year: 2013

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

'The Militarization of All Hindudom’? The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bomb, and the Political Spaces of Hindu Nationalism

Citation:

Corbridge, Stuart. 1999. “‘The Militarization of All Hindudom’? The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bomb, and the Political Spaces of Hindu Nationalism.” Economy and Society 28 (2): 222–55.

Author: Stuart Corbridge

Abstract:

This paper examines the means by which the Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) and its allies have sought to reinvent the political spaces of India (Hindudom). It describes the gendered rituals of pilgrimage and spatial representation that allow Hindu nationalists to position Bharat Mata(Mother India) as a geographical entity under threat from Islam and in need of the protective armies of Lord Rama. It also explores the geopolitical claims of the BJP and its attempts to position Greater India as a Great Power. The explosion of three nuclear devices in the Rajasthan desert on 11 May 1998 can be linked to this geopolitical imaginary. The paper argues, however, that the nuclear tests were triggered by the weakness of the BJP in India's centrist Political landscapes. The ‘militarization of all Hindudomis’ is sternly contested.

Keywords: Hindu nationalism, Bharatiya Janata Party, political space, Yatras, militarization, secularism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Religion, Violence, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 1999

Engendering Post-Colonial Nuclear Policies Through the Lens of Hindutva: Rethinking the Security Paradigm of India

Citation:

Das, Runa. 2002. “Engendering Post-Colonial Nuclear Policies Through the Lens of Hindutva: Rethinking the Security Paradigm of India.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 22 (1-2): 76-89.

Author: Runa Das

Annotation:

Summary:
"Of particular interest in this article are the roles of the contemporary Hindu right government in India and religious nationalism, expressed here as Hindutva, in shaping the contemporary nuclear security problematic of India. In investigating this link, I raise the following questions: Does the recent rise of Hindu nationalism in India conflate the multicultural and secular nation of India into a monolithic Hindu nationalist identity? Does this conflation signify a conceptual merger of Hindu nationalism with the Indian state, nation, and the secular Indian nationalism? If so, what implications may this conceptual merger have on constructing Pakistan as a security threat, Other, to the supposedly Hindu India? Does it re-enforce a state-centric version of security as opposed to a people-centric view of security? Does it re-enforce Othering along communal and gender lines in terms of India's national and regional security concerns? At a broader level, if theorizing in international relations (IR) and policy implications in international security studies seek to move towards conflict resolution, then should the role of ideology in the form of religious nationalism/ communalism that constructs insecurity "scapes/imaginaries," through a discursive process of Othering, be deconstructed? Finally, is it important to go beyond the observable geostrategic factors (that are so emphasized by conventional IR theorists) and delve into more intrinsic factors, such as the role of ideology, that may shape security discourses in IR?
 
"This article represents an analytical hybrid of the critical constructivist approach as its theoretical framework and the concept of postcolonial insecurity for an interpretation of politics to re-read the role of ideology in defining the interrelations between security, gender, and politics in IR I focus on the tensions between the realist and antinuclear groups in India as a case study to explore how the recent rise of a Hindu nationalist ideology in India, expressed as Hindutva, which primarily hinges on a Hindu-Muslim axis, may be utilized by the contemporary Indian right government to justify India's nuclearization policies" (Das 2002, 76).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Nationalism, Religion, Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2002

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