Coastal Muslim Women in the Coast of Kenya: Narrating Radicalization, Gender, Violence and Extremism

Hassan Mwakimako


The subject of female participation in violent extremism is contentious. Until police arrested girls from the coast of Kenya who were suspected to be travelling to Somalia to join Al-shabaab, the subject of female jihadist in East Africa was unheard of. This in-depth analysis of some encounters and experiences of Muslim women from the coast showcases the significance of narrating personal involvement and encounters with the extremist violence of the Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Narratives of how they met recruiters and operatives are insightful in their details but because the personal accounts tell the stories of their lives which provide insight and meanings embedded their experiences. Using biographical narratives, this article builds a shift on knowledge about female jihadist, violent extremism and radicalization. The narratives describe the agency of personal experiences of violence, suffering and loss experienced by women in their involvement in violent extremism.


Keywords: Muslim, Narratives, Women, radicalization, violence, extremism


Hassan Mwakimako

Associate Professor, Pwani University, E-mail:

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