Bombs and Bombshells: Exploring Women’s Participation in Political Violence



Minjoon JungBombs and Bombshells is a Political Science and Global Studies course that has allowed me to see the world in a different way. Taught by Professor Sandra McEvoy, it focuses on the society from the bottom to the top. During the semester, we explored the world in which women participate strongly in political violence. Women’s participation in political violence and the notion of terrorism are terms very related to each other.

We studied many types of terrorism – religious terrorism, ethnic terrorism, political terrorism, and also we learned how different forms of motivations and reasons made people, especially women, take part of political and violent actions. For me, the most interesting part of the course was the study of many states such as Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Palestine & Israel etc., in where women closely engaged in political violence. According to the study, women sometimes participated as the active soldier, or they were sometimes the weakest victim in the miserable situations because of their country’s circumstance, and death of their families and relatives. As a result, we saw the twofold faces of women. But I felt that those women committed murder, suicide bombing, or headed a political organization because they did not have any other options to survive their abject lives.

From the course, I began to observe the world, especially battling conflicts, in a different perspective. I pay more attention to individuals who receive the sorrow and despair directly from the conflict. Among of all, I contemplate how women will be used as a tool of the political violence. I think we should first try to look at the environments that make women engage in political violence, rather than blaming it on their irrational acts.


Minjoon Jung is a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea studying Political Science.