This paper aims to interrogate the relationship between women’s activism and in/security through a narrative approach to feminist security studies. The investigation of women’s activism in the Kashmir Valley highlights gendered notions of in/security and brings to fore in/securities experienced by local women and men.
Kashmir is neither a state of open war, nor a post-conflict situation, but a rough terrain of in/security. This terrain is highly gendered as large presence of hyper-masculinised military troops, anti-government militants and “unidentified gunmen”, as well as robust gender roles, govern social and political life. The in/security terrain, both discursive and embodied, is constituting the Kashmiri population and, significantly, women activists.
In this paper I explore how women engaging in activism negotiate the in/security terrain through various strategies. The key tactic involves the telling of stories to oneself; narratives that externalise threats and demonstrate one’s own agency. Importantly, this paper brings insights into how women challenge gendered in/securities in order to partake in political activities.
Brännlund, E. (2018, April). Negotiating in/security: Women’s activism in Kashmir. Paper presented at Pint of Research: Global Society, Bristol, England