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Thursday, 20 June 2024

Women and Terrorism

By : Riri Khariroh (National Commission on Violence Againts Women)

If we look at several cases of terrorism in Indonesia, there has been a change in trends more or less since ten years ago. Where the role of women in terrorism networks has shifted. So if in the past the role of women was only as a supporter who was behind the scenes, now women are already at the forefront and become perpetrators.

However, we need to be careful in seeing this phenomenon, because the question arises regarding whether or not women are currently taking a position in the front for terrorism cases with the shift. But what we need to know is based on the studies we have conducted on the women involved and have even been arrested, that in fact, they are actually victims. Because basically, many of them are wives of a terrorist inmate.

They are victims of their husband’s radical ideological doctrine. Moreover, these radical groups require absolute strictness, between wife and husband. Thus in their view, the husband is God’s representative whose orders must be fulfilled. While there are also women who were involved because they were framed.

They were married, then trapped in the vortex of terrorism. Thus, almost all women involved in extremism and radicalism are victims. It was also due to an unbalanced pattern of relations, where men were more dominant, so they could easily indoctrinate radical ideologies to their wives.

According to the results of a study of 90 percent of women who are wives of a terrorist, do not know what activities carried out by her husband related to radicalism. They only found out after their husband was arrested.

Women involved in terrorism are victims of unequal relations in the household. So there is a concept of themselves that then changes. In addition, the current terrorism movement is also targeting migrant workers through social media. So, the internet or social media is now also one of the tools used by radical groups to recruit people and expand networks.

Through this social media too many women are ultimately trapped in terrorism networks. Moreover, many migrant workers experience alienation and violence. So many of them are trying to find peace by following the recitals, some of which are used as a medium for the doctrine of understanding radicalism by terrorism groups.

This can be concluded that basically, women are victims of an unbalanced social structure system and also victims of radical network structures that do use women to achieve terrorism goals. Even many women are involved in terrorism because of despair because they are afraid of getting negative stigma from the community.

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