Women are now flying to Syria to join the jihad. However, despite their willingness to fight, they play a supporting role for their jihadi husbands – some of whom they met in Syria. They cook, clean and take care of the children as their husbands go out to fight. Some are also involved in the Al Khanssaa Brigade, which is a group set up by ISIL in February this year. The Al Khanssaa is an all female force that maintains strict religious dress codes and checks other women in case they are the enemy fighters in disguise.
The ICSR (International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation) believes around 60 British women have joined the jihad and they are between 18-24 years of age but typically under the age of 20.
There is evidence that some women are bored after being confined to their houses and want to participate in the battles. But last week such calls from women to be allowed to fight provoked a response from the al-Khanssaa: “Sisters take note that the battlefield is not for you unless Muslims are in dire need of both women AND men. You can benefit in other ways.”