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Abstract

Wars and conflicts have had a profound impact on women and gender in the Middle East. In this article, we aim to highlight the various ways in which the ongoing oppression and conflict in the Middle East shape the responses of the Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish women of Turkey and the object of their struggles. We go beyond the ‘Orientalist’ discourse, which depicts Middle Eastern women in armed conflicts as solely vulnerable and helpless victims, to discuss the resisting roles played by the Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish women of Turkey. Middle Eastern women have played and continue to play major roles in responding to society, gender and state oppression. While the Iraqi women in this study voice their resistance through conventional actions and wide civil-society activism that transcends the local level, the Palestinian women engage in unconventional unarmed or peaceful resistance through Sumud and cultural resistance as well as armed/non-peaceful acts of resistance. Finally, in the face of Turkish state oppression, the Kurdish women of Turkey also deploy non-peaceful resistance through becoming active fighters and engaging leadership positions in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Note on the Author

Yasmin Khodary is an Associate Professor of Political Science - The British University in Egypt; Noha Salah- The British University in Egypt; Nada Mohsen - The British University in Egypt

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