Occasional Paper Series: Gender Relations among Neighbors - a Study of Humanitarian Practices Addressing Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

The purpose of this paper is to study the perceptions of gender relations among Syrian refugees as presented by employees of selected local NGOs in Lebanon. These NGOs form part of a civil society undergoing changes since the refugee crisis of the Syrian war, and now collaborating with Syrian NGOs, and engaging Syrian refugees in humanitarian projects. Their participation in humanitarian response occurs in Lebanon in several contexts, ranging from handicraft workshops to neighborhood committees, civil society activism and business initiation. Gender relations among Syrians are presented by such NGOs as more patriarchal and harmful for women, but Syrian activists in Lebanon contest this indictment. Nevertheless, these conceptions become a pretext for the approach that refugee women are more vulnerable not only due to the war, but also due to their relations to Syrian men. The paper forms part of a study, which asks what consequences the engagement of Syrian refugees in humanitarian work may have for citizenship transformation– with particular urgency and value for women who are denied equal citizenship with men.

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