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Muslim Mothers in Ground Combat Against the Islamic State: Women’s Identities and Social Change in Iraqi Kurdistan
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Global Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1240-4323
2017 (English)In: Armed forces and society, ISSN 0095-327X, E-ISSN 1556-0848Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study analyzes the experiences and identities of Kurdish women fighting the Islamic State(IS) in northern Iraq as part of the Peshmerga Army. The case is especially interesting because these women have engaged in ground combat and because there is an empirical gap in knowledge, especially concerning Muslim women’s experiences as soldiers. Wars bring great destruction but can also catalyze social change. While seeking balance between their identities as good mothers and professional soldiers, many Kurdish women see their war participation as a chance to increase their agency and improve equality in society, as combat operations create a window of opportunity to change perceptions of women’s roles. Women soldiers still face prejudices and feel that they must prove their worth as fearless warriors in ground combat. However, interviewed soldiers said that they were not striving for equality but equivalency, stressing those qualities that women in particular can contribute in battle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017.
Keyword [en]
gender issues, military organization, Islam, Kurdistan, social change, IS
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35260DOI: 10.1177/0095327X17699568OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-35260DiVA: diva2:1084663
Available from: 2017-03-27 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2017-03-27

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