Re-considering Muslim Marriage Practices in Europe: the Case of Iraqi and Syrian War-Widows

This project offers a new perspective on Muslim marriages by placing the experiences and voices of Muslim women at the centre of research.
Project status
Closed for applications

This research is considering how Iraqi and Syrian war-widows who have settled in the UK and Germany since the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the outbreak of the Syrian war, have adopted new marriage practices, how these have been developed and are perceived, and the status they are given by the countries’ legal systems.

In 2014 the UK hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict and placed marriage practices at the centre of the UK’s international development efforts. Comparing two European countries that have received refugees at different scales and periods, will shed light on Europe’s most recent arrivals, the negotiation of their ‘politics of belonging’ and the role Muslim marriage practices play in women shaping social relations, challenging religious boundaries and facilitating community belonging and integration. No significant research has been done on the growing number of Syrian and Iraqi women refugees in Europe and less so on war-widows.

For more information, visit the project’s website, or read Dr Yafa Shanneik's article on how Western refugee policies can cause power imbalances in the home, leading to unintended dangers for women in The Conversation.


Principal Investigator: Dr Yafa Shanneik, University of Birmingham

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