The role of women in West Africa’s violent extremist groups
A recent publication from the Institute for Security Studies has examined the role that women have played in West Africa’s violent extremist groups. Ranging from their abduction and use as a tool to entice men to join extremist ranks to willing participators in activities from operations and suicide attacks, their role varies according to circumstances and policies that have changed in response to several factors. Most groups have formally excluded women from participation in suicide or other operations. Others, however, seem to welcome their participation. From April 2011 to June 2017, Boko Haram conducted 434 suicide attacks in the Lake Chad region. 244 of these, over half, were carried out by women. For a more detailed modern history of women in West African terrorist organizations, read the full report at the following ISS Africa link.