Report: written by Harriet King
ISIS, and most terrorist groups, are inevitably stereotyped to be associated with men due to the medias coverage of terrorist attacks and conflict zones, as well men primarily being leaders and dictators in military areas. However, it has recently came about that women play a far more significant role in terrorism than we were previously lead to believe.
For many, the idea of woman actively participating in the mass killings of others seems incongruous. Realistically, the truth is, those women essentially maintain the same ideologies and objectives as men regarding a political movement against Syria.
The reason why women join the movement is the same as men; to conquer political/cultural oppression, and to fight for an Islamic caliphate in unification. Similarly to any other countries, and arguably interchangeable with all religiously motivated societies, an individual will achieve it’s beliefs based on the culture in which you’re exposed to during your upbringing.
However, an alternating argument is ‘cant beat them, join them.’ In war zones all over the world, and predominantly Syria, female advocates live in highly treacherous zones, where they are constantly at threat of political discrimination, abuse, sexism, threats and rape. Therefore, whilst their involvement in war is a harsh lifestyle, it may be the only method of survival.
Experts have recently highlighted an insurrection of western women joining ISIS, through the observation of social media. A dedicated group of woman from the UK who have gone to Syria and converted to Jihadist ideologies are now encouraging other British woman to commit terrorist attacks in the UK. They are acting as ISIS recruiters, promoting the execution of westerners through social media.
The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, at King’s College London, have confirmed there are at least 30 British woman currently in North Syria, supporting ISIS.
This then undoubtedly triggers the problem of ISIS expanding; the more women who participate in terrorist groups, the more likelihood of reproducing children who reflect the same beliefs.
While women are not provided with the same military training as men, they are regularly used in terrorist attacks such as suicide bombings. Many ISIS female fighters are perceived to the western world as simply acquiescent and that they submissively live in conflict zones; raising families away from the front line.
The truth is women play a much more dangerous and threatening role than ever before due to the uprising digital revolution and desperation for equality in both politics and warfare.