Safe Spaces for Refugee Women: Towards Cultivating Feminist Solidarity

Type Journal Article - Feminist Review
Title Safe Spaces for Refugee Women: Towards Cultivating Feminist Solidarity
Volume 131
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2022
Page numbers 10-25
Over the last decade, growing concern over Syrian refugee women and girl's gendered displacement experiences, including gender-based violence, has led to the proliferation of women and girl safe space interventions across neighbouring countries affected by the Syrian conflict. Though diverse in their design and implementation, some of these safe spaces aim to mobilise aspirations for feminist solidarity and collective action, where women recognise their collective power and work together to transform their gendered social conditions. Drawing on feminist ethnographic research in a safe space primarily targeting Syrian refugee women in Lebanon's Beqaa valley, I explore several vignettes that complicate dominant feminist myths underlying its mandate. These vignettes reveal that the pursuit of feminist solidarity can neither rely on myths about refugee women's identities and conditions, nor be taken-for-granted as an organic outcome of group activities. I offer several reflections on what these vignettes can tell us about better working towards cultivating feminist solidarity in safe spaces for refugee women in practice, with the hope that their generative and transformative potential be realised.

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