Skip to main content

Event | Women’s Roles in Terrorist Movements

February 8, 2017

When: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.
Where: Thomson Hall, 317

Presenters: Christopher C. Harmon, Professor, Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies  and Paula Holmes-Eber, Affiliate Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, UW

Most contemporary research on terrorist movements ignores gender, in large part because of the biased assumption that terrorism is a primarily ‘male’ activity. However, over the past century in Latin America, Asia, Africa the Middle East, and Europe, revolutionary political movements have accepted and deployed women in numerous important roles: ranging from senior leadership to cadre, as intelligence agents, couriers, combatants and even suicide bombers.

Although religion, region and culture influence the types of roles women undertake in terrorist organizations, almost every known terrorist organization in recent history has included women. Even some Muslim extremist groups have given approval to the inclusion of female fighters.  Today the Al Qaeda and ISIL magazines are openly courting female recruits.

Drs. Harmon and Holmes-Eber will examine the reasons for incorporating females into underground fighting organizations, and the implications of such participation for redefining and challenging gender roles–both within terrorist organizations and for the larger social and political structures against which the organizations struggle.

This event is sponsored by: Middle East Center, Center for Global Studies, Center for West European Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, UW.  For further information, contact:

The Middle East Center’s sponsorship of this event does not imply that the Center endorses the content of the event.

To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: (206) 543-6450/V, (206) 543-6452/TTY, (206) 685-7264 (FAX), or