Victimisation of Female Suicide Bombers: The Case of Chechnya


Kemoklidze, Nino. 2009. “Victimisation of Female Suicide Bombers: The Case of Chechnya.” Caucasian Review of International Affairs 3 (2): 181-88.

Author: Nino Kemoklidze


While arguing about why women fight, many believe that these women are yet other victims in the hands of ruthless men, while others emphasize the seriousness of a particular conflict where even women are driven towards taking up arms, seen as a last resort in the eyes of many. Few, if any, confront this ever present “myth” of victimisation of women who choose radical forms of fighting. This paper will challenge this viewpoint and, based on the case of the so-called Black Widows of Chechnya, will argue that women can take up roles other than that of a victim in the battlefields; and that they are capable of fighting for a purpose other than that of a personal tragedy and/or family bereavement.

Keywords: gender, violence, nationalism, female suicide bombers, Chechnya

Topics: Armed Conflict, Secessionist Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism, Sexual Violence, Female Perpetrators, Violence Regions: Asia, Europe Countries: Russian Federation

Year: 2009

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