A new book has been written entitled The Kurdish Women’s Freedom Movement: Gender, Body Politics and Militant Femininities by Isabel Käser of the London School of Economics, published by Cambridge University Press in August 2021.

See the listing for this book here: https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/middle-east-government-politics-and-policy/kurdish-womens-freedom-movement-gender-body-politics-and-militant-femininities?format=HB

Amidst ongoing wars and insecurities, female fighters, politicians and activists of the Kurdish Freedom Movement are building a new political system that centres gender equality. Since the Rojava Revolution, the international focus has been especially on female fighters, a gaze that has often been essentialising and objectifying, brushing over a much more complex history of violence and resistance. Going beyond Orientalist tropes of the female freedom fighter, and the movement’s own narrative of the ‘free woman’, Isabel Käser looks at personal trajectories and everyday processes of becoming a militant in this movement. Based on in-depth ethnographic research in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, with women politicians, martyr mothers and female fighters, she looks at how norms around gender and sexuality have been rewritten and how new meanings and practices have been assigned to women in the quest for Kurdish self-determination. Her book complicates prevailing notions of gender and war and creates a more nuanced understanding of the everyday embodied epistemologies of violence, conflict and resistance.

  • Looks at the history and everyday practices of the women’s movement across different parts of Kurdistan
  • Offers insight into the lived and embodied realities of the struggle in the activist, political and armed spheres of the Kurdish Freedom Movement
  • Centres the analysis of shifting gender norms in conflict in Turkey, Iraq and Kurdistan, and in the Middle East more broadly

About the author

Isabel Käser is a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and Research Associate at the University of Bern. She gained her PhD at SOAS University of London and has previously worked in journalism and diplomacy, most recently leading the research project ‘Art in Peace Mediation’ for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. She has lectured at the University of Bern, and the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr (UKH), and is currently the Principal Investigator of a collaborative project between the LSE and the UKH entitled ‘The Kurdistan Region of Iraq Post-ISIS: Youth, Art and Gender’.

View the cover of the book below:

cover IK


Download a voucher for 20% off the book here: https://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/9781316519745_The-Kurdish-Womens-Freedom-Movement_Flyer.pdf