Dr Katherine Brown, Lecturer in Islamic Studies, discussed a new propaganda video from so called Islamic State, which shows women fighting on the frontline for the first time on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour.

Hosted by presenter Jane Garvey, Katherine was joined by Elizabeth Pearson, Associate Fellow at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute), an independent think tank.

Previously, Islamic State has stated that women’s participation in violence would only be defensive and as a matter of last resort, and never within the territory of the caliphate. Katherine explained that this new propaganda video therefore marks a “new era” for Islamic State.

Regarding the purpose of the video, Katherine explained that it has been designed to demonstrate that Islamic State still has a range of supporters willing to fight for its cause, especially given that it has lost territory to other Islamist groups. The video is also a way to gain media attention and remind of Islamic State’s continued resistance as a fighting force.

The discussion on Islamic State starts at 34:50. The programme was aired on Monday 12 February 2018 at 10:00.