Back to Abstracts

Monday 6th December at 2:00pm GMT (English) hosted by Hiba Alhaji

Women in contemporary Syria: Culture, power and politics. (English)

At the start of the Syrian Revolution in 2011, Syrian society was characterised by conventional social roles, however, the conflict has had a profound impact on social, economic and political life, transforming social roles, especially those of women. Prevailing social mores and values have changed to accommodate new realities in each region. This study explores the socio-economic situation of Syrian women post-2011, drawing on the political theories of Nawal Al-Sadawi, Jurgen Habermas, Hannah Arendt and Max Weber, and the philosophy of social change, to help analyse women’s emerging roles in the fields of culture, power and politics. In parallel, it looked at the influence of entities such as the NGOWomen Now for Development and the documentary film ‘For Sama’, as drivers helping to shift the stereotypical view of women and their work.  For all the damage wrought by war, we found that the revolution had opened new spaces for women, challenging not only the political system, but also patriarchal authority and the gender division imposed on women. Some Syrian women are now taking leading roles in political and social organisation, as well as becoming agents in narratives on the Syrian war. This study adds to the literature on, and understanding of, women in war.