Women and Militant Wars
The politics of injury
Routledge – 2014 – 264 pages
Series: War, Politics and Experience
This book explores women’s militant activities in insurgent wars and seeks to understand what women ‘do’ in wars.
In International Relations, inter-state conflict, anti-state armed insurgency and armed militancy are essentially seen as wars where collective violence (against civilians and security forces) is used to achieve political objectives. Extending the notion of war as ‘politics of injury' to the armed militancy in Indian administered Kashmir and the Tamil armed insurgency in Sri Lanka, this book explores how women participate in militant wars, and how that politics not only shapes the gendered understandings of women’s identities and bodies but is in turn shaped by them.
The case studies discussed in the book offer new comparative insight into two different and most prevalent forms of insurgent wars today: religio-political and ethno-nationalist. Empirical analyses of women’s roles in the Sri Lankan Tamil militant group, the LTTE and the logistical, ideological support women provide to militant groups active in Indian administered Kashmir suggest that these insurgent wars have their own gender dynamics in recruitment and operational strategies. Thus, Women and Militant Wars provides an excellent insight into the gender politics of these insurgencies and women’s roles and experiences within them.
This book will be of much interest to students and scholars of critical war and security studies, feminist international relations, gender studies, terrorism and political violence, South Asia studies and IR in general.
'I find Swati Parashar's book to be very insightful, bringing up a topic which has so far been under-discussed: the issue of the politics of militant women. Her two case studies show the diversity of female involvement in wars. She is unapologetic about women' violence and points out the processes of silencing. I would like to congratulate Swati Parashar on her publication and I would prompt everyone interested in gender and conflict studies to read it.' - Zuzana Hrdlickova, E-International Relations
Foreword, Christine Sylvester Introduction: When silences speak 1. Women, wars and gendered subjectivities 2. The feminist researcher and the researched: negotiations of difference 3. Kashmir: armed insurgency and the story of women’s silences 4. Sri Lanka: continuities and disruptions in the lives of LTTE women 5. War, memory and gendered (re)presentations Conclusion: Women, wars and feminist IR : troubled frontiers and troubling silences Appendix 1: Transcript of interview with Asiya Andrabi Appendix 2: Transcript of interview with Rudra Appendix 3: Transcript of interview with Daya Somasundaram
Swati Parashar is a lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.