• Send page
  • Print page

Between Amazons and Sabines: a historical approach to women and war

31-03-2010 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 877, by Irène Herrmann and Daniel Palmieri

Today, war is still perceived as being the prerogative of men only. Yet history shows that through the ages, women have also played a role in armed hostilities, and have sometimes even been the main protagonists.

 

Irène Herrmann is associate professor of modern history at the University of Fribourg and lecturer of Swiss history at the University of Geneva.
Daniel Palmieri is historical research officer at the ICRC. 
 
Abstract 
Today, war is still perceived as being the prerogative of men only. Women are generally excluded from the debate on belligerence, except as passive victims of the brutality inflicted on them by their masculine contemporaries. Yet history shows that through the ages, women have also played a role in armed hostilities, and have sometimes even been the main protagonists. In the present article, the long history and the multiple facets of women’s involvement in war are recounted from two angles: women at war (participating in war) and women in war (affected by war). The merit of a genderbased division of roles in war is then examined with reference to the ancestral practice of armed violence.  


 
    pdf file   Full text in PDF format    (198kb)  
  About Acrobat PDF files 
 


Related sections

Related pages