My work on gender, conflict, and peace through the lives and experiences of female combatants started in Kashmir and has branched out to a wide variety of comparative conflict contexts. Using significant ethnographic and interview research in Kashmir, my book, Gender, Conflict and Peace in Kashmir (Cambridge, 2014) demonstrated two trends: that gender-roles change during conflicts, and that those during-conflict changes do not necessarily lead to permanent transformation of socially ascribed norms. Though the threats are different, women combatants and women outside of conflict or ‘in times of peace’ continue to confront multiple, gendered threats of violence.
Following this book, I edited a collection (Female Combatants in Conflict and Peace, Palgrave, 2015) which shows that Kashmir is a mirror image of a number of other places across the globe – where both conflict and post-conflict situations are subject to significant and severe sexual and gender-based violence, though the forms vary. My chapter in this collection shows that female combatants face additional violences, not only from the conflict itself but from those who see their transgressions of ‘normal’ gender roles as threatening and act punitively.
My next project in this research area is a book project, tentatively titled Constellations of Violences, examining the cases of gendered violence towards female soldiers, female insurgents, and female participants in conflict sexual violence. I have gathered and read the secondary sources relevant to this project. I am planning to supplement that work with interviews and field research when the global pandemic allows the resumption of travel.