This book brings together a wide range of case studies to explore the experiences and significance of women warriors in Southeast Asian history from ancient to contemporary times.

Using a number of sources, including royal chronicles, diaries, memoirs and interviews, the book discusses why women warriors were active in a domain traditionally preserved for men, and how they arguably transgressed peacetime gender boundaries as agents of violence. From multidisciplinary perspectives, the chapters assess what drove women to take on a variety of roles, namely palace guards, guerrillas and war leaders, and to what extent their experiences were different to those of men. The reader is taken on an almost 1,500-year long journey through a crossroads region well-known for the diversity of its peoples and cultures, but also their ability to creatively graft foreign ideas onto existing ones. The book also explores the re-integration of women into post-conflict Southeast Asian societies, including the impact (or lack thereof) of newly established international norms, and the frequent turn towards pre-conflict gender roles in these societies.

Written by an international team of scholars, this book will be of interest to academics working on Southeast Asian Studies, Gender Studies, low-intensity conflicts and revolutions, and War, Conflict, and Peace Studies.

PART 1 Introduction and Background  1 Women Warriors, Palace Guards, and Revolutionaries in Southeast Asian History; PART II Women Warriors in Ancient and Early Modern Southeast Asia  2 ‘Lady Sinn’ (Xian Fu-ren 洗夫人) and the 6th Century Chinese Incorporation of a Southeast Asian Region;  3 Querulous Queens, Bellicose Brai: Cambodian Perspectives toward Female Agency;  4 The Regio Femarum and its Warrior Women: Images and Encounters in European Sources;  5 Javanese Geisha warriors? The incomparable prajurit estri at the Court of Mangkunĕgara I; PART 3 Southeast Asian Women Warriors and Revolutionaries in the Modern Period  6 Heroines and Forgotten Fighters: Insights into Women Combatants’ History in Aceh, 1873-2005;  7 Women in the Early Vietnamese Communist Movement: Sex, Lies, and Liberation;  8 Recruiting the All-Female Rani of Jhansi Regiment: Subhas Chandra Bose and Dr Lakshmi Swaminadhan;  9 Women Guerrillas of the Communist Party of Malaya: Nationalist Struggle with an Internationalist Experience;  10 Love and Sex in Times of War and Revolution: Women Warriors in Vietnam and the Philippines;  PART 4 The United Nations, Security Sector Reform (SSR), and the Gendering of Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR)  11 The Aftermath for Women Warriors: Cambodia and East Timor;  12 Brave Warriors, Unfinished Revolutions: Political Subjectivities of Women Ex-Falintil and Falintil-FDTL Combatants in East Timor;  PART 5 Conclusion  13 Rethinking the Historical Place of ‘Warrior Women’ in Southeast Asia