Why we did it: The Kenyan women who joined Al-Shabaab

al shabaab

Somali women carry weapons during a demonstration organised by Al-Shabaab in the Suqa Holaha neighbourhood of Mogadishu, on July 5, 2010. 

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Women and girls have been identified as recruiters, logistics planners, financial conduits and spies for the group.
  • I interviewed 36 women or girls who had returned home from terrorist camps or defected from the network.
  • I generated 16 case accounts of women and girls who explained ‘voluntariness’ in Al-Shabaab recruitment.

The direct involvement of women and girls in terrorism has attracted increased interest as the nature of recruitment tactics has evolved. In Kenya, their involvement in terrorist networks, such as the Al-Shabaab, is an emerging trend.


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