Terrorism and Security: Female Terrorism in Tunisia

Author(s): Farah Mnekbi
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Terrorism
Number of pages:


This research paper is a critical analysis of gender and terrorism, specifically focused on recruiting in Tunisia. The research looks at recruiting efforts that focus on women and compares that to the actual experiences of women in terrorist groups in Tunisia. Interviews with two, female ex-terrorists show that the women felt they would be more empowered in terrorist groups than they were in mainstream Tunisian society. The research documents the links that exists between the proliferation of international terrorist organizations in Tunisia and what some Tunisian women view as a lack of opportunity, significance, and security in mainstream Tunisian society in contrast with the roles, influence, and opportunities that terrorist organizations appear to offer. The desire to be equal to men is the main explanation as to why Tunisian women are joining terrorist groups. After joining these groups, female recruits mostly find themselves more marginalized than before and often regret their decision.