Weaker Sex’ As Aggressor: Suicide Bombings and Strategic Logic of Gender Mainstreaming in Nigeria’s Boko Haram Terrorism (Published)
This essay is about the current wave of suicide bombings in Nigeria; a phenomenon hitherto alien to the country. The increasing rate of female suicide terrorists raises more curiosity among gender/security scholars and the womenfolk in general. Though a noble concept in its original context and application, gender mainstreaming has become a useful policy option for the terrorist organisation to pursue their objectives in Northern Nigeria. Thus, the popular idea of propagating women as a weaker sex seems to have evaporated with the reality of integrating a gender perspective into all stages of terrorist organisation’s deadly activities, particularly in an African country. Why has it become more advantageous for terrorist organizations to use women to support or execute terrorist activities? This essay examines the concept of gender mainstreaming within the context of terrorist operations, focusing on mode of recruitment and indoctrination and the Boko Haram’s strategic logic behind the use of female bombers. The implication of this trend on the Nigerian state and gender stereotyping is also analysed.