The event drew together personal narratives, fieldwork, and literary and popular narratives, and focussed on experiences of women in the Global South.
Date: 2 November 2022
The Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre at London Met recently hosted an international seminar on the role of women in militant movements worldwide. The event took place in the Henry Thomas Room at the Holloway Campus on 18 October, 2022.
The seminar was chaired by Professor Sunny Singh of London Met's School of Art, Architecture and Design, and featured Dr Nimmi Gowrinathan, author of Radicalising Her: Why Women Choose Violence (Beacon Press, 2021) and Dr Meena Kandasamy, author of The Orders Were to Rape You: Tigresses in the Tamile Eelam Struggle (Navayana Publishing 2020).
Drawing together personal narratives, fieldwork, and literary and popular narratives, and focussed on experiences of women in the Global South, the seminar offered fresh insights not into women’s experience of war. Both experts drew from their own creative and scholarly work to focus on the unique experience of women and girls in militant movements across the globe.
Gowrinathan noted that although the female fighter is often seen as an anomaly, women make up nearly 30% of militant movements worldwide. At the same time, women are also at risk of uniquely gendered violence by state and non-state actors alike. Dr. Kandasamy drew on her interviews with Tamil Tigresses to discuss their roles and shared creative work by women combatants that she has translated into English.
Both noted the gendered nature of discourse about women combatants that often erases their political and ideological commitments and agendas.