Women in insurgent groups in Latin America
Roberto-Cáez, Omar Manuel
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In Latin America, the use of political violence against authoritarian regimes increased after the Cuban Revolution. In the 1970s, women began to join revolutionary movements in ever-growing numbers, to the point that the presence of female guerrillas or terrorists was no longer remarkable. The most important factors that influenced women to join insurgencies were political ideology, state and domestic violence, culture, social networks, and changes in guerilla tactics. Women took on various insurgency roles, including those of fighter, supporter, and sympathizer. The post-conflict repercussions of female participation in political violence vary, depending on the capacity of the demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration process. So far, however, U.S. military counterinsurgency doctrine has barely acknowledged this evolution in the gender make-up of insurgencies. The increasing inclusion of females in U.S. combat military occupation specialties should allow the military more flexibility in the way it identifies, classifies, and approaches gender in conventional and counterinsurgency operations.
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