Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Research Student: Walaa Al Husban

A Sociological Reading of Gender Mainstreaming in the Humanitarianism Discourse: A Continuing Conversation between the West and the Rest

Photo of Walaa Al Husban

The research aims to deconstruct the conceptualization of universality within humanitarianism architecture, that I argue ignore differences of gender; ethnicity and nationality of various local communities. For such, the question that I raise and take forward is concerned with reflecting the impact, success, and limitation of gender mainstreaming policy within the humanitarianism context when it is emanates from Western definition of gender and equality and traveled globally via international polices to arrive to local non-Western communities. Gender mainstreaming policy will be treated as a locale of which discourses of universalism, gender, power, are interacted with each other’s. A Locale where tension, inconsistence, hegemony and inequality can be identified. A Locale where compassion with others are shaped by own understanding of humanity, rights, and justices.

A sociological perspective that refrains essentialism and examines knowledge production, the social relationships, and power structures is needed in order to promote change. Therefore, through a discourse analysis I will be able to reflect the implication of universalism, gender, power, and the concepts and meaning that are produced on a daily level.

Background

I hold an MA in International studies from University of Jordan & a BA in Applied English from Jordan University of Science and Technology.

I worked as an English lecturer in two universities in Jordan, University of Jordan and Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Additionally, I worked with International Nongovernmental organizations in Jordan for three years. I was managing one of the educational programmes that was designed to support Syrian children to be reintegrated to the formal schools’ system. Along with this, I was a member of Sector Gender Focal Point Network, in which I was responsible to incorporate gender equality measures within the organization that I worked in. Furthermore, I co-chair the Education sector working group in Zaatari Refugee Camp, where my main responsibilities were to provide a coordination forum in which all organisations and institutions collaborate with the aim to support the education system in emergencies, to plan and implement a response strategy to meet the needs of the Syrian refugees children and youth, and to ensure continued access to quality education in a safe and protective environment for all vulnerable children and youth.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

Getting a PhD was one of my aims as I enjoy the challenging academic environment, and as well I am eager to empower my personal knowledge in a subject that I have a passion for.  

What makes me passionate about my subject?

Working with education core-competency projects in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan guided me to realize several gaps that needs to be addressed and enhanced. The one that I am taking forward in my research is gender equality and how it was reflected in the response plan of Humanitarianism discourse. As I argue, that international organisations were looking to reflect gender equality in their projects through their own understanding and conceptualization of gender, equality, power, social identity and human rights, which were completely different from how these concepts were commonly approached in a Jordanian context.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

I am planning to pursue opportunities in Academia, and as well become an active ambassador in advocating gender equality in different spheres; policies, laws, institutional regulations and daily practice on both a national and an international level.

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