Gender Relations in (Post-)Conflict

Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies &
AK Gender of the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO)

Second World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies
11-16 June 2006
Amman, Jordan

Recent studies on violence indicate a strong interconnection between violence and social constructions of femininity and masculinity. In times of war and conflict, complementary role models are enforced; for men as providers and protectors of the family and for women as dependent subjects, who need to be protected. Accordingly, powerful masculine role models such as a warrior, the young hero or the determined leader are enhanced. In contrast, women (and children) are portrayed as victims of war and conflict. On the one hand, aspects associated with femininity in patriarchal societies, i.e. caring, nurturing and moral virtues, are debased, while on the other hand the reproductive functions of women become glorified in the image of a 'patriotic motherhood'. Meanwhile, times of war and conflict are meanwhile understood as points of departure to study reconstructions of gender relations from structural, symbolic, discursive, normative, and practice perspectives among others.
Since the colonial conquest, most, if not all, societies in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia have experienced wars, civil wars, genocides, and numerous ethnic, religious and social conflicts. In this region, the interconnection between gender and conflict, however, has rarely been addressed in connection with religion or its impact on rewriting of gender relations. A focus on the processes of emerging modernities as sites of conflict, however, allows making gender relations visible in historic and ongoing state building processes. In this panel, we wish to make use of a wide range of conceptual frameworks to analyse the (re-)construction of gender relations in ongoing and past conflicts. We use a broad understanding of the term 'gendered conflict', which includes gender dynamics in pre-conflict periods, gendered violence in times of war and civil war, and reconstructions of gender orders in the aftermath of conflicts. Consequently, we also address gender-specific issues in conflict and post-conflict situations that increase the risks of social and/or political exclusion in the reconstruction of post-conflict societies.

Susanne Dahlgren (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Finland) & Martina Kamp (Department of Political Science, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany)

Valentine M. Moghadam (Director, SHS/HRS/GED UNESCO) & Susanne Dahlgren (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Finland)
Riina Isotalo (Institute for Development Studies, Helsinki University, Finland)
Post-return Notions of Return, Family and Community: Palestinian Variations on a Theme

Liza Franke (University of Leipzig, Germany)
Female Suicide Bombers in the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Smadar Lavie (non affiliated, Israel)
Mizrahi Feminism, the Struggle for Palestine, and the Racial Formations of the Israeli Left

Susanne Dahlgren (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Finland)
Women with Too Many Rights: Women and the State in Post-Civil War Aden

Lamia Rustum Shehadeh (Center for Women in Crisis at the YWCA, Beirut, Lebanon)
The Impact of Armed Conflict on Gender Roles in Lebanon

Nadje Al-Ali (Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK)
Changing Gender Relations in Iraq: The impact of Dictatorship, Economic Sanctions, War and Occupation

Nicola Pratt (School of Political, Social & International Studies, University of East Anglia, UK)
Gendered Violence and Violent Genders in Post-invasion Iraq

Martina Kamp (Department of Political Science, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany)
Fragmented Citizenship - Communalism, Ethnicity and Gender in Iraq

Iman Al-Ghafari (Tishreen University Lattakia, Syria)
Sexuality, Masculinity and Nationalism in 'Days with the Days'

Rebecca Moody Center for Women's and Gender Studies, University of Texas at Austin, USA)
Blood Ties: The Role of Jewish Women's Physical and Ritual Impurity in the Maghreb

Laila Hamili (EHESS, Paris, France)
Les femmes marocaines à l'épreuve du Protectorat où un féminisme sous jacent à la cause coloniale ?

Corinna Trogisch (University of Hannover, Germany)
Multi-layered Political Dissent in a Post-conflict Society: Socialist Feminism in 1980's Turkey

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