Discourses on Conflict Women: Surfacing the Women in Marawi in News-mediated “Development as Discourse”

Like myths in folklore, “development as discourse” constructs women. I argue that these representations of women, particularly in seven selected online articles produced by news media and development institutions about the recovery of Marawi City in the Philippines after nearly five months of conflict in 2017, obscure women’s genuine aspirations and actual participation in rehabilitation efforts. Using the lens of Third World feminism and postdevelopment thinking, I point out how these media discourses on development mythologize women. Parsing “development as discourse” is essential not only for exposing the contradictions in media representations of women but also for surfacing the possibilities of reinterpreting the myths. Critical writing and reading can demythologize and liberate conflict women and other silenced Others.