IRRC No. 877

Women fighters and the ‘beautiful soul’ narrative

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This article explores women's presence in military forces around the world, looking both at women's service as soldiers and at the gendered dimensions of their soldiering particularly, and soldiering generally. It uses the 'beautiful soul' narrative to describe women's relationship with war throughout its history, and explores how this image of women's innocence of and abstention from war has often contrasted with women's actual experiences as soldiers and fighters.

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