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Female Sucide Terrorism Reconsidered

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Female Sucide Terrorism Reconsidered

  1. 1. FEMALE SUICIDE TERRORISM RECONSIDERED TATYANA DRONZINA Political Science Department St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia
  2. 2. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…1 <ul><li>It is not possible to elaborate a universal explanatory framework for all cases of female suicide terrorism </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, a set of conditions can be elaborated under which female suicide terrorism gets more likely. </li></ul>
  3. 3. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…2 <ul><li>Female suicide terrorism is most probable in societies which share at least 5 conditions: </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of protracted ethnic conflict or foreign country invasion exists </li></ul><ul><li>There are religious or cultural norms restricting women’s access to public sphere </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional society structures are in a process of disintegration </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional norms, values and authorities are replaced by new ones </li></ul><ul><li>There are radical organizations which have made a choice in favor of a female suicide terrorism </li></ul>
  4. 4. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…3 <ul><li>Organizational choice in favor of a female suicide terrorism is a rational one and is determined by several factors as the next ones: </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamics of the relationships between political actors climbing to represent the interests of the same ethnic community </li></ul><ul><li>Need of successful political competence for the loyalty of the community </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on the membership: increasing solidarity among members; increasing political mobilization of the community; readiness for political action by both of them </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on the external environment: stronger support for the organization cause, based on the perception of women perpetrators as victims </li></ul>
  5. 5. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…4 <ul><li>On individual level, female suicide act is a function of different factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic characteristics (age, family status, profession, origin, religiosity) are important but not decisive in making suicide choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide terrorist behavior is likely to be chosen by women who have suffered losses, caused by the conflict; are victims of traumas, which damaged their identity (related or not related to the conflict); and are in conditions of social stigma in their communities or the wider society because of “sins” they have committed. </li></ul>
  6. 6. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…5 <ul><li>In most cases, female suicide terrorism is not an expression of feministic aspirations for widening women’s life chances and equality. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not inspired by emancipation motives, at least not in their West interpretation </li></ul>
  7. 7. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…6 <ul><li>Female suicide missions widen only the right of women to choose the form they die, but no the form they want to live </li></ul><ul><li>As far as female suicide missions are positively sanctioned by a culture rising men’s supremacy and privileges in power distribution, they eventually foster the inferior status of women in the respective societies </li></ul>
  8. 8. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…7 <ul><li>Female suicide terrorism has never contributed to the achievement of goals, proclaimed by political elites of radical organizations; eventually its impact has been just the opposite </li></ul><ul><li>This does not mean it is not an effective mean of political action, but that there is a need to distinguish between the public and hidden agenda of the radical organizations </li></ul>
  9. 9. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…8 <ul><li>In female motivation for suicide terrorism some motives that are not present in the men’s motivation are identified. They are as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>Stigma </li></ul><ul><li>Unconditional loyalty to the leader on whom the father’s power is transferred </li></ul>
  10. 10. MAIN CONCLUSIONS…10 <ul><li>In most cases (Palestine, Chechenia and Turkey especially) there is an alienation of the women perpetrators form the social sense of the of the “noble” suicide, being real personal motives completely different form the publicly announced </li></ul><ul><li>There are enough reasons to insist that the real personal motives are rather related to the gender identity than to the ethnic or national one </li></ul>
  11. 11. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN ORDER TO RSTRICT FEMALE SUICIDE MISSIONS?.... <ul><li>Establish more reliable empirical data on female suicide terrorism </li></ul><ul><li>Identification, analysis and evaluation of female suicide terrorism in its own social and political context. </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully use of notions and knowledge characteristic for the Western scientific tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Overcoming of gender stereotypes like this one that women are victims rather than victimizers </li></ul><ul><li>Changing of media discourse representing female suicide terrorists as victims rather than victimizers </li></ul><ul><li>Increased understanding that the feminization of radical discourse does not mean more equality and life chances for women </li></ul>
  12. 12. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN ORDER TO RSTRICT FEMALE SUICIDE MISSIONS?.... <ul><li>Implement measures that would lead to certain reduction of the negative consequences of modernization and globalization process for women in traditional societies </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of gender identity value (especially of female identity value in its own cultural context) and carrying out of a dialogue based on shared features of human nature, despite of cultural differences </li></ul><ul><li>In the cases of religiously legitimated suicide terrorism, support for moderate trends in Islam, which oppose the Islamist interpretations of the Jihad and female participation in it </li></ul>
  13. 13. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN ORDER TO RSTRICT FEMALE SUICIDE MISSIONS? <ul><li>Demythologization of leaders, encouraging female suicide terrorism and dissociation of a connection between their authority and the authority of the men in the traditional family or clan </li></ul><ul><li>Creation for more life chances (educational, professional, social) for women in traditional societies in process of transformation, which would lead to their participation in a public life in a non violent way </li></ul>
  14. 14. MEETING CHALLENGES… <ul><li>OVERCOMING HOSTILITIES…. </li></ul>

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