Saving the Survivors: Yezidi Women, Islamic State and the German Admissions Program

Thomas McGee

Abstract


Brutality and sexual violence perpetrated by the Islamic State (IS) group against women and girls held in captivity have left traumatic effects on survivors and their communities. In this context, the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg launched a novel ‘Special Quota’ Humanitarian Admissions Programme to receive one thousand vulnerable women and children. They are predominantly from the Yezidi religious minority in Iraq and its autonomous Kurdistan Region. The programme serves as a noble precedent for new and expanded forms of international protection to those affected by conflict-related sexual violence and associated trauma. This article draws, however, on interviews with participants of the programme in order to consider critically the gendered assumptions embedded within its design, implementation and related discourse. Research findings indicate that explicit exclusion of all adult male family members from accompanying the vulnerable “womenandchildren” [1]to Germany is against the wishes and self-perceived best interests of some women survivors. Moreover, women’s inability to maintain family unity compounds their lack of agency to determine the conditions of their own recovery and future within the programme framework.


[1] This article borrows the one-word compound term coined by feminist writer Cynthia Enloe to evoke the treatment of women within a conflated conceptual category of diminished personal agency and essentialised vulnerability.

ABSTRACT IN KURMANJI

Xelaskirina yên saxmayî. Jinên êzidî, Dewleta Îslamî û bernameya Almanyayê ya qebûlê

Wehşet û şideta cinsî ya ji hêla Dewleta Îslamî pêk hatî li hember jin û keçên dîl tesîrên trawmatîk li ser ên xelasbûyî û li ser cemaetên wan hiştiye. Di vê çarçoveyê de, eyaleta Alman a Baden-Württemberg bernameyeke nû “Kotaya Taybet” a Bernameya Însanî ya Qebûlkirinê da destpêkirin da ku hezar jin û zarokên di rewşa hesas de qebûl bike. Ew jî bi piranî ji kêmîneya olî ya êzidiyan pêk tên li Iraqê û li Herêma Otonom ya Kurdistanê. Bername wek pêşengeke hêja ye ji bo awayên nû û berfireh ên vehewandin û parastina navneteweyî ji wan kesan re ku ketine ber şideta seksî ya ji ber şer û trawmayên ji wê çêbûyî. Ev meqale xwe dispêre hevpeyvînên ligel beşdarên bernameyê ji bo ku bi awayekî rexneyî li wan pêşferzên cinsî yên di binyad û dîzayn û tetbîq û gotara wê de. Encamên lêkolîne nîşan didin ku bi eşkereyî rênedana hemû endamên mêr ên malbatê da ligel “jin û zarokên” di rewşa hesas de werin Almanyayê li dijî daxwaz û baştirîn feydeya (bi baweriya wan) hin ji wan jinên xelasbûyî ye. Herwiha, zehmetiya jinan ji bo parastina yekîtiya malbatên xwe kêmasiya bikeriya wan jî xurttir dike ku ew bi xwe karibin biryarê bigrin ji bo şert û mercên qencbûna xwe û dahatûya xwe di nav çarçoveya bernameyê de.

ABSTRACT IN SORANI

Rizgarkrdinî zîndûmawan, jinanî êzdî, Dewlletî Îslamî û programî wergirtinî Ellmanî

Ew weḧşiyet û tundûtîjîye sêksîyey û ke le layen grupî Dewlletî Îslamîyewe le dijî jinan û kiçanî be dîlgraw hatote encam dan, karîgerîy tirawmatîkî le ser zîndûmawan û komellgakanyan be cê hêştûwe. Lem kontêkste da wîlayetî fîdirrallîy Baden Wurtembêrgî Ellmanya programêkî be nawî pişkî taybet (Special Quota) dest pê kird ke brîtîye le prrogramêkî xêrxwazîy bo wergirtin, bo pêşwazîkirdin le yek hezar jin û mindallî brînbar. Zortirînyan ser be kemîney ayînî êzdîn le 'Êraq û herêmî Kurdistanin. Ew prrograme wek despêşxerîyekî nayab şwênî xoy kirdotewe bo brewdan be şêwazî nwêtir û berfrawantirî parastinî nêwneteweyî bo ewaney ke kewtûnete jêr karîgerîy tundûtîjîy sêksî û ew tirawmayey ke bew hoyewe tûşyan bûwe. Le ser binemay çawpêkewtingelî encamdraw legell beşdarbûwanî programeke da em meqaleye be şêweyekî rexnegirane ew grîmane cenderîyane şî dekatewe ke le naw nawerrok û şêwazî cêbecêkirdin û gutarî peywendîdar dan. Encamekanî lêkollînewe derî dexen ke xistinederî tewawî endame nêrînekanî xêzan ke hawşanî "jinan û mindallan"î brînbar birron bo Ellmanya le dijî wîst û pêdawîstîye kesîyekanî hendêk le jine zîndumawekane. Herweha nebûnî twanayîy ewey ke jinekan xêzanekanyan be yekgirtûwîy bihêllinewe, rêga le karabûnyan degirêt le pêkhênanî mercekanî çareserî û dahatûyan le çwarçêwey ew programe da.


Keywords


Yezidi; women; SGBV; survivors; trauma; migration

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References


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