NEW DELHI: Kurdish Women have come to the forefront to fight the Islamic State militants. Hundreds of women are being trained, and have left the safety of their homes for the fighting fields of Iraq where they are directly combating the militants. The regional media is full of stories about these women fighters who, however, make little of their bravery in the few interviews that have been taken. They insist that it is the duty of every single Kurd to fight against the militants who have taken over their land and are commiting the worst kind of atrocities.

A few snapshots carried alongside this give an idea of the determination of these women, and once again bring to the fore the impact of conflict on women across the world. They are the first to suffer in conflict as their homes are destroyed, and often are themselves targeted by the attackers. In this case the IS militants have been capturing Kurdish women and turning them into sex slaves, or selling them for money. And hence the women have had little choice but to pick up the gun themselves in a bid to protect their homes and themselves.

As these photographs show, most are young women although slightly older women are present to clearly help train and discipline the new battalions coming up to counter the Islamic State brutality.