Mia Bloom

 

On her book Bombshell: Women and Terrorism

Cover Interview of November 28, 2011

Lastly

Although people might assume that women’s participation in terrorism or in any form of political violence might help level the society in terms of the equality between men and women, the reality is not the case.

Only in cases in which women are not just cannon fodder as bombers but also participate as leaders and ideologues that women’s involvement helps the status of women in the society as a whole.

In places like Europe, women’s participation in terrorism has led to a variety of women leaders. A good example is Ulrike Meinhof who led the Red Army Faction in Germany or members of the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland. Many of the women in Ireland now hold seats in Stormont, the Northern Irish Parliament.

However, if the best and the brightest women of the society become suicide bombers, this will actually eliminate the next generation of female leaders.

In essence, my book conveys the message that women who want to do something for their people or their society need to find other ways to do so. Women need to know that they can make more of a difference with their lives than with their deaths. That is one of the underlying messages in my work and I hope that in writing a book about women’s involvement, to shed some light on the phenomenon.

The final point that I make in the book is with regard to what we can expect next. I think that as more and more targets are hardened and made difficult for terrorists to access, they will switch tactics and use children. We have already seen the emergence of Islamic Schools in Pakistan training very young children to become suicide bombers before the age of 14. We will see more children enter the fray and sadly, this will have devastating consequences on their societies but also on forces that have to face children.