Dying for Eelam - On the female suicide bombers of the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam

Anna Louise Dijkema, Marta Rossi, Juliette Secousse & Peter Grønbech

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project focuses on female suicide bombers within the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The question why female suicide bombers were common within the LTTE is examined. Moreover, the project deals with the push and pull factors that motivated women’s involvement as suicide bombers. This is established by the use of secondary data such as books and scientific articles consisting of inter alia, interviews with female Tamil suicide bombers. Within the project a clear structure is used to distinguish the strategic, personal and social reasons of female suicide bombing. The ‘’rational choice theory’’ and Durkheim’s ‘’group solidarity theory’’ are used to explain these reasons within the LTTE context. A case study is conducted, connecting and introducing these three reasons to the famous suicide attack on Rajiv Ghandi carried out by Dhanu, the first female suicide bomber of the LTTE. At the end, a comparison is made with the Palestine female suicide bombers to get a broader picture. Our findings show that there are a variety of personal reasons like nationalist fervour and personal suffering, and social reasons like group solidarity that motivated women’s involvement. In addition, we found several strategic reasons for the use of female suicide bombers by terrorist organisations like the LTTE.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato25 jun. 2015


  • Suicide Bombers
  • Female