Counter-spaces as resistance in conflict zones: Palestinian women recreating a home

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Women's voices, roles, and contributions are the most misunderstood issues in the analysis of war zones and conflict areas. This paper brings the feminist lens into the analysis of Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It examines the effect and legacy of policies inflicted by the doctrines of "no safe haven" and of "security reasoning" in relation to women, explores the way it shapes women's interactions with their family members, and discusses the ways in which continued and unpredictable political oppression creates an art of resistance with therapeutic qualities. By using a collection of narratives, personal witnessing, and analyses of studies gathered since the onset of the second Intifada, the researcher reveals how women have managed to develop women-oriented strategies that protected the domestic space and produced innovative transcripts that created counter-spaces of safety to rebuild (actually or metaphorically) the family home. The paper concludes by showing how the processes of displacement and the attacks on the domestic sphere, nevertheless, engender agency and creative resistance and calls for front-line feminist activism.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)109-141
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Feminist Family Therapy
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2006


  • Arab family
  • Conflict zones
  • Counter-spaces
  • Family policy
  • Feminism
  • Gender
  • House demolitions
  • Palestinian women
  • Security reasoning
  • Social policy
  • Violence
  • War


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