Gender, Jihad, and Jingoism: Women as perpetrators, planners, and patrons of militancy in Kashmir
The Kashmir case is a conundrum in the study of women’s roles in religio-political militancy. While traditional social structure and gendered hierarchies have been retained, public spaces have also been available to women to don more political and militant roles. This article looks at the multiple roles of women in the militancy in Kashmir and the discourses around them. Women’s participation in the militancy has not found any mention in the nationalist narratives and Kashmiri women struggle to claim their share in the contemporary political discourse. Ambiguities remain about how the maledominated Kashmiri nationalist and conflict discourse may have influenced inclusions and exclusions. Through a case study based on interviews conducted in Kashmir, this article argues that women’s violent activities or their support to the militancy is altogether excluded or maneuvered to preserve existing gender norms and patriarchal traditions. This has dangerous implications as it tends to exclude women’s voices in the peace processes.