Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781786991454 Published November 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786991461 Published October 2017 For sale in North and South America only

Women and the War on Boko Haram

Wives, Weapons, Witnesses

Edited by Hilary Matfess

Women and the War on Boko Haram

Edited by Hilary Matfess

Distributed for Zed Books

192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781786991454 Published November 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786991461 Published October 2017 For sale in North and South America only
For well over a decade, Boko Haram has waged a campaign of terror across northeastern Nigeria. In 2014, the group shocked the world when it abducted 276 girls en masse from a school in rural Chibok, and the resulting #BringBackOurGirls movement attracted support and solidarity from around the globe. Yet as Hilary Matfess shows, Boko Haram’s campaign of violence against women and girls goes far beyond the Chibok abductions.
 
From its very inception, argues Matfess, Boko Haram has systematically exploited women to advance its aims, committing acts of sexual violence under the guise of religiously sanctioned marriage. Perhaps more disturbing still, many Nigerian women have chosen to become active supporters of the group, willing even to sacrifice their lives as suicide bombers. Having conducted extensive fieldwork throughout the region, Matfess provides a vivid and thought-provoking account of Boko Haram’s impact on the lives of Nigerian women, as well as exploring how both the Nigerian government and Western leaders have failed to prevent the group’s violent misogyny.
 
 
Contents
Glossary and list of acronyms
 
Acknowledgements
 
Introduction
 
1 Understanding Boko Haram
 
2 Precursors to the insurgency and the sharia debates
 
3 Being a girl in Nigeria and the gender politics of Boko Haram
 
4 Girls as symbols: the Chibok abductions and the silent majority
 
5 Women at war: wives and weapons in the insurgency
 
6 Rescued to what? Displacement, vulnerability, and the dark side of ‘heroism’
 
7 The way foreword
 
8 Lessons learned: applying best practices to Boko Haram
 
Conclusion: Nigeria at a crossroads
 
Notes
 
References
 
Index
 
Review Quotes
Andrew Walker, author of Eat the Heart of the Infidel
“Boko Haram’s violence against women has often been met with incredulous outrage. Matfess cuts through our assumptions to reveal a much more compelling and surprising picture. A fantastic book that I would not hesitate to recommend.”
Amidu Olalekan Sanni, Lagos State University

“For the first time, women are treated as actors as well as victims within the story of the Boko Haram insurgency. This is a masterpiece which stands to become a classic in the study of militant radicalism.”

Brandon Kendhammer
“An original, innovative, and much-needed addition to the growing literatures on both women and conflict in Africa and the Boko Haram insurgency.”
Adam Higazi, University of Amsterdam
“This is a significant book on Boko Haram, analysing the role of women and girls in the insurgency in north-east Nigeria, and the gendered impacts of the enormous humanitarian crisis which the conflict has produced.”
Elisha Renne, University of Michigan
“Provides an important corrective to the general reporting on women associated with Boko Haram. As Matfess persuasively argues, improving the position of women and increasing gender equality in north-eastern Nigeria will surely support efforts to bring peace to the region.”
Ebenezer Obadare, University of Kansas
“Sharply and sympathetically written. Matfess turns the tables on the notion of women as helpless victims of terror. No doubt, the book’s core argument will raise hackles, but few would disagree that Matfess has laid out a case which demands serious debate.”
Valerie Hudson, Texas A&M University
“The author’s intensive fieldwork reveals previously unseen layers of complexity. Matfess is right to conclude the fate of Nigeria is tied to the fate of its women, and her book is an important contribution to that discussion.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here