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Gender under Attack: An Analysis of Media Representations of Syrian Refugee Women

As a result of the conflict in Syria, since 2011, millions of refugees were forced to migrate to various destinations such as Turkey, Jordan, and Europe for safety. Current studies mainly focus on routes and drivers of refugee migration, focusing on ‘male’ refugees. However, female refugees receive little to no attention; meanwhile, Syrian refugee women are still represented through media. Two compelling images appear when Syrian refugee women are discussed in media; the Western media demonstrates Syrian refugee women as victims, while the Arabic media blames Syrian refugee women for destroying the traditional Syrian family. Therefore, my research aims to integrate the voices of Syrian refugee women by understanding how their online representation contradicts/overlaps with their offline self. Moreover, the research aims to understand how digital connectivity and social media play a role in shaping offline/online everyday practices.


Duha Ceylan (she/her) is an interdisciplinary researcher with a special interest in studying gender in migration. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences where she chose Sociology as an orientation during the final year and a Master’s in Science of Sociology with a Conflict and Development orientation. Currently, she is doing a second Master’s in Statistics for Social Sciences and started her Ph.D. at Interface Demography. Moreover, she is taking part in the project HumMingBird as a qualitative researcher and volunteers and participates in feminist collectives in Belgium and Turkey in an effort to give something back to the community. Her research focuses on understanding Syrian and Turkish migrant communities in Western Europe. Her previous works have explored Syrian women’s media representations and their influence on the perception of their online and offline selves. Moreover, she investigated the influence of digital technologies on Syrian women’s experiences and perceived agency in Western Europe as refugees.