This book exposes the different ways in which violent conflicts increase patriarchal controls on women and the impact of militarization on women and men, on masculinities and femininities. In all the societies and communities under discusion in the five countries, the authors point to the different ways in which women react and respond to the conflict. They become victims of various acts of repression and abuse. The book exposes that even armed militant women choose to respond to violence with violence. On the other side militants' mothers respond to violence with non-violent means of political agitation.
The authors articulate a general position on the need to redefine democracy within the South Asian context, in a way which recognizes minority rights and acknowledges the nature of all South Asian states as multicultural and multinational. Within this overarching framework, the authors see women's involvement in militancy and in peace building as enabling a new construction of democracy, human right and citizenship. The need for a reconceptualization of security to mean human security and peace with justice, rights and equality is both advocated and emphasized.
In this process, the authors address the need to begin to deconstruct the exercise of masculinist power in its different forms, especially in war and conflict.