Media discourse on Islamic women jihadists in Indonesia: Islamic radicalism post-Arab Spring

Rachmah Ida, Nisa Kurnia Ilahiati, Muhammad Saud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Following terrorist incidents involving women and increasing numbers of women joining and supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Indonesian media have highlighted this emerging trend and centered discourse around women’s roles in Islamic radicalism. This study examined Indonesian women jihadists and their perception and representation in the media, covering underlying causes and discourse surrounding women combatants, radical movements, and the meaning in which women and jihad are articulated within the socio-political context. Noting limited research within this emerging field, gender-specific jihad in Indonesia, this study analyzed discourse about women’s participation in jihadi movements during a resurgence in Islamic fundamentalism. Recent events have not only opened media space to present and represent gender jihad (the existence of radical women, women terrorist combatants, pledged of allegiance) but have also generated powerful media discourse reinforcing oppression of women, alienation, threat, and submissive ideas. Drawing on media portrayals and news production analysis, this study argued that women jihadists have not only received insufficient coverage from mainstream/commercial media, but that women/feminist perspectives have been silent, complicit, or nonexistent throughout incidences of terrorism involving women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4302-4317
Number of pages16
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Indonesia
  • Media discourse
  • gender jihad
  • women combatants
  • women’s radicalism


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