‘IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER’: Recognizing the Breadth of Women’s Participation in Violent Political Organizations and Beyond.


The potential for political violence in women is still something that most contemporary societies are wary of openly acknowledging. It is, after all, easier to apprehend the relation between women and violence as a unidirectional one, that is to say, as something that is done to them. Even when a woman is at the origins of the violence, her actions are often presented and explained in a gendered way. It seems counterintuitive that this should still be the case when there are now numerous studies demonstrating that women have long been involved in political violence, and by many means. Women’s involvement is probably even greater than can be proven with official data, as historical records have been known not to reveal the full extent of women’s participation in violent organizations. Either way, it is now undeniable that gender has never fully prevented women from fighting — literally or figuratively — for what they wanted. Yet women’s involvement is still too often largely denied or at least depreciated, especially outside feminist literature. There are several reasons for this, but two in particular have significant repercussions…..

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TSAS RR19-02

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