At least within modern history, the face of terrorism has been dominated by males. Women have been part of terrorist organizations, often in supporting roles and sometimes as direct actors when tactically prudent but the perpetrators have almost always been men (though their victims have spanned the sexes and various age groups). But the face of terrorism is changing as more women are making it to the ranks of terrorists. This has become more apparent with the tactics and success of ISIS/ISIL in bringing Muslim men and women from across the world over to the Middle East to fight in their jihad. While the profile of the typical terrorist remains the same, the question of why more women are joining terror organizations was recently tackled by Professor Mia Bloom of the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
“Recently, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria published videos depicting women with guns on social media. According to Bloom, this is a tactic that ISIS used to goad men into joining the fight. Women who join the fight are usually forced to go into relationships with the males.
There has been examples of using women as suicide bombers or fighters and posting videos and pictures in social media outlets. However, historically women have been a part of terrorist organizations dating back to the Irish Republican Armies and al Qaeda, according to Bloom. Terrorist organizations commit rape against women to have them join the fight because they feel they are damaged goods and they join a terrorist organization to make themselves useful.” (Cerritos College Talon Marks)