CMES Research Seminar: Challenging Global Gender Mainstreaming - Syrian Refugees in Jordan as a Case Study
Presentation by Yafa Shanneik, Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University.
Yafa Shanneik is Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Lund/Sweden. She researches the dynamics and trajectories of gender in Islam within the context of contemporary diasporic and transnational Muslim women’s spaces. Currently, she is working on a project, which explores women’s narratives of transnational marriage practices performed by Iraqi and Syrian women who have settled in Europe and other countries in the Middle East since the 1980s. She has published several articles and books on gender and Islam. Her monograph: The Art of Resistance in Islam. The Performance of Politics among Shi‘i Women in the Middle East and Beyond was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.
The paper focuses on a particular type of Islamic marriage, so-called imam marriages, which are not recognised by the Jordanian state but widely practised among and with Syrian refugees since their influx to Jordan in 2011. State institutions and feminist humanitarian organisations advocate a registration of these marriages on the basis of fulfilling UN conventions on gender and human rights protection. I, however, argue in this paper that the enforcement of marriage registration and the implementation of a hegemonic moral order in Jordan give rise to the contradictory deployment of gender and human security protection these state and non-state actors claim to ensure. Imposed policies undermine the safety and social standing of Syrian refugee women in Jordan, in particular, by exposing them to increased public hypervisibility. This paper analyses imam marriages within their multi-layered local and transnational socio-political contexts, highlighting thereby the wider complexity of power relations in which intersecting and, very often conflicting, structures place women in more vulnerable positions. The paper provides new insights into the impact of humanitarian interventions on gender rights and the safety of displaced people in the Middle East by taking Syrian refugees in Jordan as a case study.
The talk is held at CMES, Finngatan 16 in Lund. If you are not able to attend in-person, there is an option to attend via Zoom. Please register here for Zoom attendance: https://lu-se.zoom.us/meeting/register/u50kcemrrDgsHt0_LSRB6nV2OMYNxL5RWKHX