Women, Gender, and Politics

N16 - Women, Disaster Management, and Uprising

Date: Jun 14 | Time: 08:30am to 10:00am | Location:

Women Leadership in Disaster Management: The Case of the Beirut Blast _ Award-Winning Thesis: Fatima Nasser (American University of Beirut)
Abstract: Disaster affects men and women differently. Some research shows that women are more vulnerable than men in disasters. Due to gender inequality, women are more affected disproportionately by disasters. Although that, women show their capability to respond and recover from crisis through building community resilience and participating in disaster risk reduction. Some theoretical approaches indicate the possibilities for Women’s grassroots and non-profit organizations to adopt self-protective action in disasters based on their community work. In addition, some research indicates that women describe themselves as transformational leaders which have effective and impacted roles in disaster response plans. Even though, there is still a lack of research on women and disaster, particularly women leaders' roles in disaster management in Beirut Blast 2020. This research explores women's leadership in disaster management in Beirut Blast 2020 focusing on disaster response, mitigation, and recovery phase. The importance of the research is to broaden the literature on women’s leadership and disaster management and to identify the significance of women’s leadership and building its resilience in disaster risk reduction and social change. Data were based on different resources mainly the UNDRR - Regional Office for Arab States’ Publication. The present research will benefit researchers as a testimony to the crucial role of women leaders in disaster management in the Beirut Blast. Furthermore, the information generated by the interviewees allowed us to get a comprehensive picture of the status of Lebanese women leaders in Beirut Blast (roles, challenges, motivations, and actions). Revealed findings provide a specific roadmap for conceptualizing and enhancing Women's Leadership in Beirut Blast.

Scaling the Pandemic: Women, Social Reproduction, and Crisis Management: Jacquetta (Jacquie) Newman (King's University College at Western), Patricia Mockler (Queen's University)
Abstract: Drawing from oral histories gathered from women community leaders in London, Ontario during the height of the COVID pandemic (2020-2022), this study intends to show how women constructed, contested, and negotiated the larger social arrangements that put a premium on social reproductive work and care during the crisis. This project uncovers the gendered nature of crises and crisis responses, highlights how women navigate and resist the various scales defining a “logic of appropriateness” (Chapell 2002; Findlay, 2014) of their work, and demonstrates the intimately gendered nature of crises and crisis responses. This study responds to three central research questions: 1) How did women leaders negotiate the multi-scalar nature of the crisis? 2) How did the care work tasks carried out by women leaders evolve in response to the crisis?, and 3) How did women leaders navigate the intimacy of the crisis response? Our study provides a nuanced account of the gendered contours of care work at multiple scales during the pandemic and interrogates the gendered expectations embedded in crisis responses.

“Women, life, freedom” Role of Women in Current/Latest Iran's Uprising: Aras Syhamanssuri (Charmo University), Farhad Mamshai (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: To what extent Iranian women will be the center of change in Iran’s today and Iran’s post-Ayatollah? This is the main question of this paper that attempts to argue the importance of women not only in the inner structure of society and families in Iran but their role in positions of leadership and politics. The latest death of the young Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, also known as Zina Amini, due to police brutality, has repositioned the power of women in political platforms in Iran. Thus, it seems women will play a significant role within the government to create the link between freedom and progress for women's liberation. The center of the argument will be structured by women and in favor of women. Although the feminism movement, e.g., the Iranian Women's Rights Movement, has a long history that goes back to the 1910s, the latest Iran uprising united most Iranian men and women, Persians, Kurds, Arabs, and local and exiled opposition groups or figures. Accordingly, the current Iranian women's movement is fundamental because it challenges the hijab as a characteristic of the national identity of Iran, and the future of women in Iran seems to be growing. A fundamental characteristic of this unrest-turned-movement has been the wide participation of women. Iranian women are leading the charge, coming from all ages and backgrounds, demanding justice, reform, and their rights. “With thousands of men joining in as well, the protests have spread from Tehran to a reported 50 other cities and towns across Iran. The streets are filled with angry demonstrators crying, “Death to the dictator,” and women are out burning their headscarves and cutting their hair in open defiance of the regime’s strict control over Iranian women.” Even if the unrest in Iran would not lead to regime change, the signal is new for the Iranian regime because this is a new form of movement that was led and started by women. In the meantime, millions of men around the country and the globe joined the movement. The moment is new in Iran’s history as it has created new challenges for the Ayatollah version of Islam. However, due to the evolving nature of the Islamic Republic under Khamenei, the clergy's traditional religious spirits have taken on a more political, ideological, and comprehensive character. The clerics have transformed from a simple, traditional institution into a vast and complex bureaucracy, with all clerics under constant ideological surveillance and punishment system if they cross the red lines set by the Supreme Leader. Therefore, it has become clear that the situation will not continue as it is due to the rise of opposite voices in Iran. And the “women, life, freedom” is the latest one that seems to continue for a long term.