Most research on women in conflict zones tend to concentrate on the idea of women as victims or as peacemakers. This Paper questions this essentialisation of women and points out the various diverse and dynamic roles women occupy in situations of armed conflict. This research paper examines the roles women play in the conflict zones of Northeast India, specifically in Assam and Manipur, how much agency they have in this engagement and whether this participation results in a confrontation of patriarchal norms and leads to social and political empowerment for the women involved. The paper investigates women’s agency in this engagement using secondary literature from various sources. Through the cases of the Manipuri and Assamese women, this paper has established how important it is to have a nuanced understanding of women’s agency and empowerment in armed conflict and how having an essentialised understanding of these roles exclude women from peace processes and is harmful to the women and a lasting peace.

Additional Metadata
Keywords women, conflict, agency, empowerment, resistance, India
Thesis Advisor Kurian, Rachel
Persistent URL
Series Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
Logna Bezbaruah. (2018, December 17). The mothers and the militants : An analysis of women’s roles as combatants and in women’s collectives in the conflict zones of Assam and Manipur. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from