Welcome to Women and War: a feminist podcast. This podcast is created by Dilar Dirik, a political sociologist at the University of Oxford (Refugee Studies Centre & Lady Margaret Hall) and has been made possible through funding from the University of Oxford’s Public Engagement with Research Fund.
In this introduction episode, Dilar Dirik talks about the philosophy behind this podcast.
Content warning: Several of the episodes have mentions (and, in some cases, graphic descriptions) of rape, sexual violence, misogyny, harassment, femi(ni)cide, homophobia, transphobia, racism, slavery, genocide, and settler-colonial violence. Please do skip this podcast, if staying away from such topic is something you need to do at this point.
This podcast is not detached from current political events and developments. In fact, recent developments such as the 2021 handover of Afghanistan to the Taliban or the Turkish state’s military operations in three parts of Kurdistan over the last years were among the events that sparked the idea to launch this project. These and other experiences discussed in the six main episodes of this podcast illustrate why it is crucial to view gender as a central, rather than secondary question in our understanding of political violence.
It is widely recognized that women are disproportionately vulnerable in contexts of war and forced displacement. Images of women from the regions covered in the episodes of this podcast are highly visible in media accounts. Yet, knowledge production on political conflict, from media to academia, often treats the dimension of gender as a side issue. What is more, women’s resistance against different forms of violence – from so-called domestic abuse to militarism and large-scale state violence – often goes unrecognized.
Much fascinating feminist work is written by women who produce knowledge for a world without violence. Sadly, much of this work is kept behind institutional walls; most people don’t have access to the knowledge produced in academia. People need institutional affiliation to even browse these works. But this is not the only barrier. Often, academic language, including feminist theory is highly inaccessible. It is difficult to understand and, as many people would agree, unnecessarily so. This podcast's position is that knowledge must be free and accessible to everyone, without gates, barriers, or borders.
Women & War is a platform to learn about women’s experiences with war, violence, occupation, colonization and forced displacement, but also about their collective struggles for liberation, justice and peace. The invited guests – who are engaged, critical feminist academics and activists - speak about legacies of genocide, femicide, occupation, and invasion in the context of places like Armenia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Palestine, Pakistan and beyond. In addition to providing background and sharing knowledge, the guests reflect on their own scholarship and discuss contemporary knowledge production on women’s resistance. Together, we counter Orientalist and patriarchal narratives and instead center women’s practices of resistance and collective struggle, past and present. The podcast treats gender as a central organizing principle that manifests in a variety of ways within different forms of violence. It also aims to amplify the diversity of experiences in the region. While offering historical context to contemporary wars and conflicts in the region, Women & War seeks to be a space to build transnational feminist solidarity.
Music: Meryem Meryemti - Grup Yorum
Social Media hashtag #WomenWarPod