Women in Terrorism examines the growing number of women actively engaged in terrorist activity and considers the significance of this for theorising gender, conflict and social politics. With that aim, the book studies Tamil women combatants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an armed resistance group which is identified as one of the deadliest terrorist groups globally.
Drawing on narrative life histories, the book canvasses three decades of ethno-nationalist war in Sri Lanka contributing to a major social change for Tamil women in Jaffna. It identifies the LTTE as providing an ‘alternative' familial kinship founded upon friendship, which transcends caste and religion. The book reveals that the LTTE combatant woman's paradoxical equality may differ from Western feminist notions of emancipation, but represents a profound change within its own patriarchal society.
This original book presents the argument that engagement in armed conflict has transformed combatant women's understanding of themselves into female slayers of injustice and protectors of the Tamil nation, with a (re)constructed gender identity and sense of empowerment.