May 4, 2020 —
Minerva-funded researcher, Mia Bloom's new article "From Pawn to Knights: The Changing Role of Women's Agency in Terrorism?". As terrorist groups became more technologically advanced with their media campaigns, the global audience began to see pictures of women in black burkas pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and posing with guns. Although there is a backlash against such change that we see reflected in the ideologies of violent extremism; the shifts in gender relations within these groups are significant to examine. Further, we face questions about the repatriation of ISIS women and children to their countries of origin – notably questions of agency and culpability within the mainstream media. This paper asks: to what extent have women’s roles changed within and across terrorist groups? Is there a move toward women’s empowerment, or is it a façade?
Associated Minerva Project:
Documenting the Virtual Caliphate