This paper illustrates how women, far from being marginalised from the process of militarisation, can actively contribute towards it. It also illustrates the similarities in the position of women in conventional and guerrilla armies. The South African case shows the durability of patriarchy and the fragility of the gains made for women during periods of war. It sharpens the debate about the relation between equal rights and women's participation in armies.
Jacklyn Cock is , at the time of writing , a professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and an Honorary Research Professor in the Society, Work and Development Research Unit (SWOP).