Salvadoran Women Combatants
Women in War: The Micro-processes of Mobilization in El Salvador

C. Sierra Becerra, Diana

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21369

Book review of Jocelyn Viterna's Women in War: The Micro-processes of Mobilization in El Salvador.



Viterna examines recruitment patterns within the guerrilla ranks over the course of the war. She identifies three major types of recruits: "politicized," "reluctant," and "recruited" combatants. Politicized and reluctant recruits mainly joined prior to 1984, while recruited combatants joined after 1985.

Politicized recruits had previously participated within militant mass organizations prior to the outbreak of the war. According to Viterna, politicized recruits were predominantly men. In other words, the politicized path was "the least likely route that women joined the FMLN."

She explains the discrepancy between the recruitment of men and women during this period as the result of sexism: rural women "were not central players in pre-war protest organizations, so they were not often viewed as ideological adherents worthy of recruitment." After the war, politicized recruits were "the most likely of former guerrillas to become community leaders."
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