Feminicide under settler colonialism: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Suhad Daher-Nashifin, ‘Femicide and Racism: Between the Politics of Exclusion and the Culture of Control’, in Pinar Ilkkaracan Rima Athar (eds), Sexual Politics in Muslim Societies Studies from Palestine, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, GAYa NUSANTARA, 2017, pp. 19-61


Abstract: This paper seeks to analyse the ways in which the interrelationship between formal and informal legal-social systems constructs women’s murders within Palestinian society. The main focus will be on the processes through which the local/global “politics of exclusion” colludes with a localized “culture of control” to generate the context within which violence against colonized women in colonial/occupied zones is fueled, strengthened and even justified, by colonized and colonizer alike. More precisely, we address how raced, classed, and gendered processes of exclusion at both the local and global levels jeopardize the lives and bodies of women in conflict zones, in this particular case those of Palestinian women. The term “politics of exclusion” refers to the mechanisms through which the Israeli occupying state and members of the international community participate in the denial of the Palestinian people’s rights to a homeland, safety, housing, freedom of movement, economic development, education, health, etc. The term “culture of control” refers to localized manifestations of patriarchal and masculine logics that are empowered by the politics of exclusion. An examination of the crime of femicide will shed light on how the global denial of Palestinian suffering (underpinned by the global “War on Terror” and current climate of “Islamophobia”) has heightened a sense of fear of the Palestinian Other, and contributed to a state of social, legal and political chaos within Palestinian society, in which Palestinians are further marginalized. This chaotic and violent state of affairs has, in turn, opened up new spaces in which hegemonic and/or patriarchal power-holders within Palestinian communities can exercise greater control over women’s lives, bodies and sexuality.

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