Women Terrorists: Raising the Terror Scale

The incorporation of women into terrorist groups has occurred in disparate ways and with commitments characterized by gradual rhythms. This paper approaches the problem heuristically from a culturalist perspective, which has as its explanatory axis the male-female relationship. It is found that women leaders of terrorist organizations, or protagonists of emblematic acts, are rather a rarity, except in the Salvadoran and German experiences; both with quasi-epic connotations. Among the explanatory keys, the environmental influence of the machismo of the time is proposed, especially in Latin America, and reflected both in the very beginnings of the Cuban guerrillas and later in the various insurrectional pockets. The environmental influence would act as a major inhibiting factor. At the same time, the proletarian internationalism that was the basis for the proliferation of such groups seems to have been, at its core, a male thing. There is no record of women (not even Cuban) fighting alongside the mythical Ché in Bolivia; nor is there any record of any revolutionary leader accompanying Guevara in his previous journeys to the Congo, Algeria and others. A second major finding aims at explaining the irruption of women as suicide bombers as a product for communicational consumption. The crudeness of this incorporation of women into the great Chechen and Palestinian terrorist causes is rather frightening and raises a very pertinent doubt as to whether this phase responds to a construct or to a reliable integration into the cause they appear to embrace.

File Type: pdf
Categories: SDSR
Author: Ivan Witker

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