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Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Faculty Advisor

Dawn Farough

Abstract

The Syrian war that began in 2011 has had devastating effects on the lives of millions of people. However, its effects on women’s lives has generally been significantly different from its effects on men. In this paper, I look at the effects that the war has had on women and also at the ways that the media has portrayed Syrian women. I use feminist sociological theories to analyse both the effects of the war and the media portrayal of it. Three commonly highlighted issues faced by women to a greater extent since the war began are violence against women, the commodification of women, and maternal health concerns. Through the lens of radical feminist theory, all three of these effects can be explained as being ultimately rooted in a social system of patriarchy. The war’s effects on the lives of women are quite diverse, however, and women have responded to the war in many different ways. Unfortunately, the Western bias that exists in the media has largely failed to capture this and often only paints women in one particular light. Postcolonial and transnational feminist theories critique the Western bias that exists in both the dominant media discourse on Syrian women and also in the framework of radical feminist theory. My own conclusions include the idea that that women’s experiences of the Syrian war are quite diverse, and understanding these diverse experiences helps us have a more accurate view of the war’s effects on women’s lives.

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