Plenarveranstaltung III / Plenary session III: (Un)intended gender politics of humanitarianism

"Gender as a category of humanitarian analysis: lessons from the Palestinian experience"

Sprecherin / Speaker:

Ilana Feldman (George Washington University, USA)

Based on research on the long Palestinian refugee experience with humanitarian assistance, this talk  explores  gender  as  a category  that  both  structures  humanitarian  decisions  and  distinctions and shapes how people live within and against this apparatus. That is, I explore both the gendered “politics of life” and the gendered “politic of living” in humanitarianism. In global discourses of humanitarian  compassion,  women are  more  easily  legible  as  victims  deserving  succor.  But  in regulatory  systems  of  humanitarian  assistance,  gender  decisions  produce  multiple,  sometimes contradictory  effects.  I  explore  these  effects  through  consideration  of  the  definition  of  an “eligible” Palestine refugee. Gender is also crucial to how refugees seek to both survive and thrive in humanitarian conditions—what I call the politics of living. I give particular attention to what a gendered analysis illuminates about contestations within Palestinian refugee communities about the “right” way to live as a refugee.

Datum: Montag, 30. September 2019