Political Empowerment

Sjoberg, Laura, and Caron Gentry, ed. Women, Gender, and Terrorism (Studies in Security and International Affairs Ser.). Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the last decade the world has witnessed a rise in women’s participation in terrorism. Women, Gender, and Terrorism explores women’s relationship with terrorism, with a keen eye on the political, gender, racial, and cultural dynamics of the contemporary world.

Throughout most of the twentieth century, it was rare to hear about women terrorists. In the new millennium, however, women have increas­ingly taken active roles in carrying out suicide bombings, hijacking air­planes, and taking hostages in such places as Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, and Chechnya. These women terrorists have been the subject of a substantial amount of media and scholarly attention, but the analysis of women, gender, and terrorism has been sparse and riddled with stereotypical thinking about women’s capabilities and motivations.

In the first section of this volume, contributors offer an overview of women’s participation in and relationships with contemporary terrorism, and a historical chapter traces their involvement in the politics and conflicts of Islamic societies. The next section includes empirical and theoretical analysis of terrorist movements in Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, and Sri Lanka. The third section turns to women’s involvement in al Qaeda and includes critical interrogations of the gendered media and the scholarly presentations of those women. The conclusion offers ways to further explore the subject of gender and terrorism based on the contributions made to the volume.

Contributors to Women, Gender, and Terrorism expand our understanding of terrorism, one of the most troubling and complicated facets of the modern world.

Sjoberg, Laura, and Caron E. Gentry. Mothers, Monsters, Whores: Women's Violence in Global Politics. 1st ed. London: Zed Books, 2007. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Mothers, Monsters, Whores provides an empirical study of women's violence in global politics. The book looks at military women who engage in torture; the Chechen 'Black Widows'; Middle Eastern suicide bombers; and the women who directed and participated in genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda. Sjoberg & Gentry analyse the biological, psychological and sexualized stereotypes through which these women are conventionally depicted, arguing that these are rooted in assumptions about what is 'appropriate' female behaviour. What these stereotypes have in common is that they all perceive women as having no agency in any sphere of life, from everyday choices to global political events.

This book is a major feminist re-evaluation of women's motivations and actions as perpetrators of political violence.
Brescoll, Victoria L., and Tyler G. Okimoto. “The Price of Power: Power Seeking and Backlash Against Female Politicians”. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36.7 (2010): , 36, 7, 923-936. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Two experimental studies examined the effect of power-seeking intentions on backlash toward women in political office. It was hypothesized that a female politician’s career progress may be hindered by the belief that she seeks power, as this desire may violate prescribed communal expectations for women and thereby elicit interpersonal penalties. Results suggested that voting preferences for female candidates were negatively influenced by her power-seeking intentions (actual or perceived) but that preferences for male candidates were unaffected by power-seeking intentions. These differential reactions were partly explained by the perceived lack of communality implied by women’s power-seeking intentions, resulting in lower perceived competence and feelings of moral outrage. The presence of moral-emotional reactions suggests that backlash arises from the violation of communal prescriptions rather than normative deviations more generally. These findings illuminate one potential source of gender bias in politics.
2017 Apr 07

"Building Peace in a Turbulent World" with Nancy Lindborg, President of the United States Institute of Peace

12:30pm to 1:30pm


WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, Taubman, 102

Nancy Lindborg, President of the United States Institute of Peace

Hosted by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and co-sponsored by the Women and Public Policy Program, the Future of Diplomacy Project, and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Lunch will be served.

Read more about "Building Peace in a Turbulent World" with Nancy Lindborg, President of the United States Institute of Peace