Nurturer, Victim, Seductress: Gendered Roles in Terrorism   [open pdf - 508KB]

From the thesis abstract: "Scholars and the media largely treat terrorism as male dominated. This thesis contends that there is value in investing time to identify gendered bias, and examines women's involvement in terrorist networks in Sri Lanka, Chechnya, and Colombia. While there are fewer occurrences of women in terrorism than men, statistics may not accurately reflect the true number of women involved in terrorism because many interactions and events go unreported. The long history of women in terrorism and evidence of their significant roles in terrorist organizations is indicative that the female terrorist may be underestimated because of her gendered role in society. The popular belief that women join terrorist organizations due to coercion or use of force is controversial. This study indicates women in Sri Lanka, Chechnya, and Colombia joined voluntarily and that women's gendered roles are temporarily set aside during war. The unintended consequence of bias influences perception of female terrorists that women are naturally weak, passive, and incapable of violence and hinders advancing gender role equality that can act as a deterrent to terrorism."

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