While numerous researchers have taken a macro approach to assessing the state of the field of terrorism studies, little has been done to better understand one vital sub-section: women and terrorism. Despite women’s active and supportive participation in terrorism and political violence, it is often repeated that they are overlooked, under-analyzed, and ignored in the research which has often taken a gender-blind approach. Yet, there has been notable growth in this literature since 9/11. The rise of the Islamic State, and women’s active participation in the group, also drove a new wave of research and analysis on women and terrorism. Now, fifty years since the emergence of terrorism studies, and over two decades since 9/11, this article asks how has the state of literature on women and terrorism evolved? This article reviews the academic literature on women and terrorism through the examination of 661 articles, books, and chapters published from 1970 through 2021 on the topic—the largest such review to date. This study uses a quantitative approach to examine 17 data points including the authorship, publication, research focus, methods, and data trends within the field of women and terrorism. By doing so, this project builds on its predecessors by examining the exponential leaps in this field of research at the macro level and how it has evolved over the last fifty years, particularly in relation to terrorism studies more generally. This work finds that there is now definitively a significant and important body of research that exists on women and terrorism, but that key limitations in this body of work persist.

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