Impact of Women Insurgents on Rebel Group Effectiveness
(UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN)
MARCH 21 2019 10:00-11:30
How does the recruitment of women affect rebel group effectiveness? As mainstream research on conflict has overlooked gender until recently, our understanding of how conflict is shaped by gendered-dynamics remains limited. In this study, I provide a detailed examination of the conditions and mechanisms through which women affect the effectiveness of militant groups. I show that women substantially contribute to the ability of rebel organizations to challenge governments. I find that women insurgents contribute most to rebel groups primarily during crises, by enabling tactical diversity, appealing to broader international audiences, and leading the organization’s coup-proofing strategy against intra-organizational factions. The findings are the results of both cross-organizational large-N analyses and a qualitative case study of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). A variety of empirical sources is used in the analyses, including original data on noncombatant women participation in rebel groups, and the archive of PKK’s monthly bulletin between 1982 and 2015.