Female Combatants

The Jihad Feminist Dynamics of Terrorism and Subordination of Women in the ISIS

Citation:

Makanda, Joseph. 2019. "The Jihad Feminist Dynamics of Terrorism and Subordination of Women in the ISIS." Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies 8 (2): 135-59. 

Author: Joseph Makanda

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The increasing embeddedness of the jihad feminist within the Islamic State’s (ISIS) operations is eliciting works on the role of women in terrorism. However, there is yet to be a more constructive analysis that adequately accounts for the luring of Muslim women into the ISIS as a justification of the patriarchal beliefs and oppressive social systems. This paper is among the first attempts to draw on the Jihad Feminism Theory (JFT) to develop a conceptual discourse that explains the causal relationship between jihad feminist fighters and promotion of patriarchal practices and beliefs within the ISIS. Far from standing against any forms of Western feminization- as espoused by the ISIS, the paper argues that jihad feminism has further subverted Muslim women to sedentary roles within the ISIS as a way of sustaining the organisations’ operations and existence.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
La creciente integración de la yihad feminista en las operaciones del Estado Islámico de Irak y Siria (ISIS) está provocando investigaciones sobre el papel de la mujer en el terrorismo. Sin embargo, aún no se ha realizado un análisis más constructivo que responda adecuadamente a la interfaz entre el feminismo yihadista y la subyugación femenina dentro de las operaciones del ISIS. Este documento es uno de los primeros intentos de utilizar la Teoría del feminismo yihad (JFT) para desarrollar un discurso conceptual que explique la relación entre las luchadoras feministas yihad y la promoción de prácticas y creencias patriarcales dentro del grupo ISIS. Lejos de oponerse a cualquier forma de feminización occidental, como defienden las feministas yihad, el artículo sostiene que el feminismo yihad ha subvertido aún más a las mujeres musulmanas a roles sedentarios dentro del ISIS como una forma de sostener las operaciones y la existencia de las organizaciones. Este es un documento cualitativo que se basa en un análisis de escritorio de fuentes secundarias de datos. 

Keywords: feminism, Islam, ISIS, Jihad feminism, terrorism, feminsmo, Feminismo Jihad, terrorismo

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2019

Everyday Realities of Reintegration: Experiences of Maoist ‘Verified’ Women Ex-Combatants in the Aftermath of War in Nepal

Citation:

K.C., Luna. 2019. “Everyday Realities of Reintegration: Experiences of Maoist ‘Verified’ Women Ex-Combatants in the Aftermath of War in Nepal.” Conflict, Security & Development 19 (5): 453–74.

Author: Luna K.C.

Abstract:

Global studies of women’s experiences in the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process have explored its implications for women in the post-war period. Scholars have also already pointed out that ex-combatants in Nepal are facing difficulties in the reintegration period. This paper examines in particular the consequences of the DDR process for so-called Maoist ‘verified’ women ex-combatants, those who were formally acknowledged as former Maoist combatants and have experienced the entire DDR process. The paper asks how they experienced this process and how it shaped their post-conflict options. The paper first problematises the idea of a ‘return to normalcy’ and, second, shows how female ex-combatants suffered multiple forms of marginalisation as they sought to give new shape to their lives. I argue that this is in part due to the lack of a gender-inclusive framework in the DDR policy in Nepal and the failure to take into account the voices of women ex-combatants.

Keywords: verified women ex-combatant, disarmament, demobilisation and integration, Maoist armed conflict, gender equality, post-conflict settings, Nepal

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Withdrawing from Politics? Gender, Agency and Women Ex-Fighters in Nepal

Citation:

Ketola, Hanna. 2020. “Withdrawing from Politics? Gender, Agency and Women Ex-Fighters in Nepal.” Security Dialogue. doi: 10.1177:0967010620906322.

Author: Hanna Ketola

Abstract:

Conceptualizations of post-conflict agency have been widely debated in feminist security studies and critical international relations studies. This article distinguishes between three feminist approaches to post-conflict agency: narrative of return, representations of agency and local agency. It argues that all these approaches in distinct ways emphasize a modality of agency as resistance. To offer a more encompassing account of post-conflict agency the article engages Saba Mahmood’s (2012) critique of the modality of agency in feminist theory and her decoupling of agency from resistance. The article explores experiences of women who fought in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Nepal. It focuses on ‘withdrawing from politics’, a dynamic whereby women ex-fighters move away from party activities and the public sphere, and rearticulates this withdrawing as a location of political agency. The article argues that being an ‘ex-PLA’ emerges as a form of subjectivity that is crafted through experiencing war and encountering peacebuilding, enabling a production of heterogeneous modalities of agency in the post-conflict context. By examining these modalities, the article challenges us to rethink post-conflict agency beyond the capacity to subvert regulatory gender norms and/or discourses of liberal peace.

Keywords: agency, conflict, Gender, peacebuilding

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2020

The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force

Citation:

Duriesmith, David, and Georgina Holmes. 2019. “The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force.” Security Dialogue 50 (4): 361–79.

Authors: David Duriesmith, Georgina Holmes

Abstract:

Since the 1994 genocide and civil war, the Rwandan government has implemented an externally funded disarmament, demobilization and reintegration/security sector reform (DDR/SSR) programme culminating in the consolidation of armed groups into a new, professionalized Rwanda Defence Force. Feminists argue that DDR/SSR initiatives that exclude combatant women and girls or ignore gendered security needs fail to transform the political conditions that led to conflict. Less attention has been paid to how gendered relations of power play out through gender-sensitive DDR and SSR initiatives that seek to integrate women and transform hyper-masculine militarized masculinities. This article investigates how Rwanda’s DDR/SSR programme is governed by an oppressive masculine logic. Drawing on critical studies on men and masculinities and feminist work on peacebuilding, myths and the politics of belonging, it argues that Rwanda’s locally owned DDR/SSR programme places the military and militarization at the centre of the country’s nation-building programme. Through various ‘boundary-construction’ practices, the Rwandan government attempts to stabilize the post-1994 gender order and entrench the hegemony of a new militarized masculinity in Rwandan society. The case study draws on field research conducted in 2014 and 2015 and a discourse analysis of historical accounts, policy documents and training materials of the Rwanda Defence Force.

Keywords: DDR, Gender, militarization, peacebuilding, Rwanda, SSR

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Genocide, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2019

Gender Dimensions of DDR – Beyond Victimization and Dehumanization: Tracking the Thematic

Citation:

Hauge, Wenche Iren. 2020. “Gender Dimensions of DDR – Beyond Victimization and Dehumanization: Tracking the Thematic." International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (2): 206-26.

Author: Wenche Iren Hauge

Abstract:

In much of the early literature on gender dimensions of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) processes – from the 1980s and 1990s – the focus was on women as victims in conflict and DDR processes. This article reviews the literature on gender dimensions of DDR processes, exploring its many different topics – such as discussions of the definition of combatants, the political economy of DDR processes, group identity, cultural contexts, and masculinity – while focusing the discussion on the representation of female and male combatants of armed groups along the victim–actor axis. It furthermore analyzes the consequences of these representations for the way in which DDR processes are structured, and for who is allowed to participate in them. Finally, the article questions the push toward normalization in DDR processes and the neglect of progressive changes in gender relations within armed groups during war.

Keywords: demobilization, reintegration, gender, actors, victims, normalization

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Political Economies

Year: 2020

Socio-Cultural Barriers of Female Ex-Combatants' Social Re-Integration in Sri Lanka

Citation:

Takamatsu, Kana. 2020. "Socio-Cultural Barriers of Female Ex-Combatants' Social Re-Integration in Sri Lanka." In Recent Social, Environmental, and Cultural Issues in East Asian Societies, edited by Mika Markus Merviö, 213-23. Hershey: IGI Global. 

Author: Kana Takamatsu

Abstract:

This chapter identifies the post-conflict social barriers to the social reintegration of female ex-combatants. This study refers to the case of Sri Lanka concerning the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that ended in 2009. During the conflict, the LTTE actively recruited female combatants, and women consisted of a significant number of the entire LTTE combatants. However, after the end of the conflict and even today, many of them are rejected by the community. First of all, the LTTE was fighting for Tamil's independence, but Tamil's community has expressed mixed opinions toward the LTTE. Second, female ex-combatants were then and are now a divergence from the gender norms of their society. Third, from their roles in the conflict, female ex-combatants experienced an indelible change in their ideas through the conflict and observed themselves as capable of being independent women. Consequently, they felt a high level of resistance to returning to traditional gender roles.

Annotation:


 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Gender Roles, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2020

Jihadi Brides and Female Volunteers: Reading the Islamic State's War to See Gender and Agency in Conflict Dynamics

Citation:

Sjoberg, Laura. 2017. "Jihadi Brides and Female Volunteers: Reading the Islamic State’s War to See Gender and Agency in Conflict Dynamics." Conflict Management and Peace Science 35 (3): 296-311.

Author: Laura Sjoberg

Abstract:

Decades ago, Cynthia Enloe called for a research agenda looking for where women are in war and conflict. Enloe recognized that women play active roles in and are affected by wars and conflicts, but are often ignored in news coverage, policy analysis, and scholarship. The current conflict in Syria and Iraq appears as a counterexample: hundreds of millions of Google results mention women and the Islamic State (IS). Subjects vary widely: the stories cover female victims of IS, female recruits to IS, and women who fight IS. This article explores the hypervisibility of women in this conflict, looking for lessons about sex, gender, and conflict. The first part analyses discourses in a sample of major news reports, evaluating how different women around IS are represented. It finds that agency is removed from both female victims and female IS partisans, while it is exaggerated for women who fight against IS. This corresponds with emphasis on different gendered traits for differently positioned women. After tracing these gendered representations, the article applies theories of gender and conflict to understand how women have become central to the fighting and coverage of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. It concludes that paying attention both to the empirical presence of women and to the co-constitution of gender, war, and conflict augments understanding of this war, and across conflicts.

Keywords: feminist theory, Gender, Islamic state, media coverage, terrorism, violence, war

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Terrorism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2017

Middle Eastern Women between Oppression and Resistance: Case Studies of Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish Women of Turkey

Citation:

Khodary, Yasmin, Noha Salah, and Nada Mohsen. 2020. "Middle Eastern Women between Oppression and Resistance: Case Studies of Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish Women of Turkey." Journal of International Women's Studies 21 (1): 204-26.

Authors: Yasmin Khodary, Noha Salah, Nada Mohsen

Abstract:

Wars and conflicts have had a profound impact on women and gender in the Middle East. In this article, we aim to highlight the various ways in which the ongoing oppression and conflict in the Middle East shape the responses of the Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish women of Turkey and the object of their struggles. We go beyond the 'Orientalist' discourse, which depicts Middle Eastern women in armed conflicts as solely vulnerable and helpless victims, to discuss the resisting roles played by the Iraqi, Palestinian and Kurdish women of Turkey. Middle Eastern women have played and continue to play major roles in responding to society, gender and state oppression. While the Iraqi women in this study voice their resistance through conventional actions and wide civil-society activism that transcends the local level, the Palestinian women engage in unconventional unarmed or peaceful resistance through Sumud and cultural resistance as well as armed/non-peaceful acts of resistance. Finally, in the face of Turkish state oppression, the Kurdish women of Turkey also deploy non-peaceful resistance through becoming active fighters and engaging leadership positions in the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Keywords: Iraqi women, Palestinian women, Kurdish women, resilience, resistance, oppression

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Turkey

Year: 2020

Crossing the Gender Boundaries or Challenging Masculinities? Female Combatants in the Kenya Defense Forces' (KDF) War Against Al-Shabaab Militants

Citation:

Ombati, Mokua. 2015. "Crossing Gender Boundaries or Challenging Masculinities? Female Combatants in the Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) War against Al-Shabaab Militants." Masculinities and Social Change 4 (2): 163-85.

Author: Mokua Ombati

Abstract:

Few institutions have historically presented more defined gender boundaries than the military. This study examines gender and war through the lens of military combat roles. Military combat roles have traditionally relied on and manipulated ideas about masculinity and femininity. Women arrive in the army with different types of capital and bring with them a shared cultural ‘tool kit’ (womanhood). Following the military’s labour allocation process, they are assigned combat roles, which is at variance to their gendered character. Assignment in non-traditional feminine roles means crossing gender boundaries. Ethnographic studies of the Kenya Defence Forces operations in Somalia reveal the different gendered characteristics of the military roles as reflected in the women’s soldiery experiences. The encounter with military power and authority challenges the women soldiers to redefine their feminine capital, to interpret the military reality via a gendered lens and, therefore, to critically (re)examine the patriarchal order. Grounded on the twin theoretical frameworks of socio-cultural capitals and cultural scripts, and structured on a gender framing of women’s military roles, the study illustrates the complex and contradictory realities of women in the army. The study unpacks the relationship between masculinity and femininity, and, war and the military. It underpins the value of the female soldier as a figurative illustration of the complex interrelations between the gendered politics of masculinity and femininity. It considers what the acts, practices and performances constitutive of female soldiering reveal about particular modes of governance, regulation and politics that arise from the sacrifices of soldiers in combatant.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya, Somalia

Year: 2015

Ex-Combatants, Gender, and Peace in Northern Ireland: Women, Political Protest and the Prison Experience

Citation:

Wahidin, Azrini. 2016. Ex-Combatants, Gender and Peace in Northern Ireland: Women, Political Protest and the Prison Experience. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Azrini Wahidin

Annotation:

Summary:
This book explores the contours of women's involvement in the Irish Republican Army, political protest and the prison experience in Northern Ireland. Through the voices of female and male combatants, it demonstrates that women remained marginal in the examination of imprisonment during the Conflict and in the negotiated peace process. However, the book shows that women performed a number of roles in war and peace that placed constructions of femininity in dissent. Azrini Wahidin argues that the role of the female combatant is not given but ambiguous. She indicates that a tension exists between different conceptualisations of societal security, where female combatants both fought against societal insecurity posed by the state and contributed to internal societal dissonance within their ethno-national groups. This book tackles the lacunae that has created a disturbing silence and an absence of a comprehensive understanding of women combatants, which includes knowledge of their motivations, roles and experiences. It will be of particular interest to scholars of criminology, politics and peace studies.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Conflict, Gender, Femininity/ies, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Security Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2016

Pages

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