Greek Cypriot women in contemporary Cyprus : with special reference to the 1974 war and its consequences
This thesis is an attempt to develop an understanding of the position of women in Cypriot society. The empirical work concentrates on the life cycle of two groups of Greek Cypriot women, rural and urban respectively, and the experiences of those women whose husbands were killed or lost as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Societies produce certain forms of social control to maintain existing social relations. In times of crisis, when the very existence of the state itself is under threat, social regulation becomes more explicit; in particular areas it may be extended and its oppressive effects are exacerbated. The thesis starts by looking at those women in Cyprus who were directly affected by the war and goes on to consider rural and urban women more generally in chapters 7 and 8. These two chapters contain extensive illustrations of the social, economic and political oppression of women and the way in which this is produced and reproduced through commonly held traditional sets of beliefs and established social practices, reinforced by the powerful institutions of Church and state. The discussion of the position of Greek Cypriot women is set in the wider context of Greek Cypriot history and the general socio-economic and political background of Cyprus. It is further informed by an examination of Greek Cypriot family law, both common law and canon law, which analyses the specific ways in which it operates to women's disadvantage. The last chapter presents an overview of the historical and contemporary positions of Greek Cypriot ,women in the light of the ethnographic research, examines conditions for maintenance and potential change of positions and offers suggestions for future research. Finally the thesis addresses the following questions: What has feminism to offer Greek Cypriot women? What new insights has the case of Greek Cypriot women to offer to the general arguments of feminism?