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.
Khodary, Yasmin; Salah, Noha; and Mohsen, Nada (2020). Middle Eastern Women between Oppression and Resistance: Case Studies of Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish Women of Turkey. Journal of International Women's Studies, 21(1), 204-226.