The Role of Woman in Terrorism and Investigation of Gendering Terrorism

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Centre For Strategic and Development Studies (CSDS) Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria

Abstract

Although terrorism is as old as humanity, recent events around the globe have however shown that the greatest threat to the future of the world today is not nuclear weapons, military coups or any pandemic or endemic diseases but religion and religious differences which have spurned a form of terrorism that seem to surpass two of the greatest tragedies of our modern history; the two World Wars. However, the involvement of women in terrorism and terrorists’ organisations has been obfuscated by media and policy makers, making it look as if it is a recent phenomenon when history actually shows that women involvement had been from inception. While this has become problematic and has generated questions about the frequency, importance, uniqueness and meaning of women’s terrorist activities, it is becoming very clear that the relationship between women, gender and terrorism cannot be ignored any longer. Questions about the motivations of the women who become active in these organizations have been raised - do they participate on strictly religious, political or personal reasons and which of these are more important as guiding and motivating their decisions? Is the increased in targeted women recruitment through abduction, compulsion or willingness an important variable in understanding this phenomenon? Could there be separate or different explanations for women’s involvement in terrorism as opposed to men’s? What is therefore the nexus or dimensions of relationship between women, gender and terrorism? These constitute the polemics which this paper seeks to interrogate.

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