Barbara Kruger, "Untitled (Your body is a battleground)," 1989. Photographic silkscreen on vinyl. © Barbara Kruger.

The Female Fighters Series pairs female writers with women who are fighting, or have fought, in armed resistance movements worldwide to bring to light the  distinctive personalities, politics, and circumstances of participation. This Guernica series is in partnership with the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative. Its early pieces drew on support from V-Day: A Global Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

Nazish Brohi: Footsteps in a Marked House

Women’s recruitment into Pakistan’s elite commandos, formed in response to post-9/11 terrorism, was not driven by a desire for diversity in the workplace, but by the need to conduct raids and arrest militants without alienating local communities.

Kimberlé Crenshaw: Up in Arms, a Conversation About Women and Weapons

The activist-scholar talks about black women and militancy, and whether guns have a place in struggles for liberation.

Eve Ensler: Female Fighters Series Re-examines Women’s Rage Around the World

The knee-jerk response to militarized women is dismissal and condemnation. Instead, the founder of V-Day argues, it is time to reexamine their stories and understand their wrath.

Nimmi Gowrinathan: Of Monsters & Women  

In search of the female extremist, somewhere between fantasy and fear.

Valeria Luiselli: Difficult Forgiveness

In Colombia, a female fighter on life after FARC.

Ana Menéndez: Celia Who?

The Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez remains an enigma, despite, or because of, her place at Castro’s side.

Chika Oduah: Enemies of the Public

One woman flees Boko Haram. Another seeks it out.

Meena Kandasamy: The Poetry of Female Fighters

The work of five poet-warriors embodies poetry as op-ed, poetry as resistance, poetry as a call to arms, and poetry as a call to poetry. (Read the poems discussed here.)