The current literature on women’s engagement with jihadi militarism mostly tends to victimize women and portray them as only tools in hands of the male-oriented leadership of the organizations. However, the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) as a functional state has challenged this conventional approach. Within its strict interpretation of sharia law and unlike any other jihadi militant organization, IS has appointed its female members in a wide range of its state departments, police and military forces. This presentation argues that these women are as ideologically dedicated to IS as their male counterparts and demands a fresh look at women’s participation in jihadism through the lens of state building.
Hamoon Khelghat-Doost is a PhD scholar and teaching assistant at the Department of Political Science at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is also a recipient of the NUS Research Scholarship. His field of research is primarily focused on Comparative Politics, Gender and Political Violence, Counter-Terrorism and Security Studies, Domestic and Foreign Policies of Iran, the Arab and Southeast Asian States and Jihadi Militarism. He can be contacted at: [email protected].