Cogs in the Wheel? Women in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam


Alison, Miranda. 2003. “Cogs in the Wheel? Women in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.” Civil Wars 6 (4): 37–54. doi:10.1080/1369824042000221367.

Author: Miranda Alison


This article examines women's involvement as combatants in the Sri Lankan Tamil guerrilla organisation the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It addresses women's motivations for choosing to join the organisation, then examines the debate over the LTTE's brand of nationalist feminism before looking at how women's experiences in the movement have affected their views on gender in society. The article hopes to shed some light on the feminist debate about these women, and through this on the broader global feminist debate about women's roles in nationalism and war. The article argues for an analysis of women's involvement in the movement that accords the women agency and is open to certain positive results stemming from their participation, yet recognises the problematic nature of nationalist feminism.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Nationalism Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2003

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