Women living under the Islamic State can be expected to marry at 16 and live a "sedentary" life without any fear or danger, a new document to attract female recruits to the region has claimed.
The extensive document, published in Arabic and most likely aimed at Saudi Arabians and women from Gulf states, says it is legitimate for girls to married from the age of nine, and after marriage women should remain hidden from view. The document was authored by so-called Al-Khanssaa Brigade, a branch of IS frequently described as be responsible for policing women.
Around 50 women from the UK are believed to have left to join Islamic State, with several active on Twitter and other social media.
A Syrian woman carrying a bag of bread in the northern city of Raqqa
But the document also says that the Islamic State expects women to be in education from the age of seven until they are married in their early-to-mid teens. "The greatness of her position, the purpose of her existence is the Divine duty of motherhood," it says. "It is always preferable for a woman to remain hidden and veiled, to maintain society from behind this veil.
"This does not mean, in any way, that we support illiteracy, backwardness or ignorance. Rather, we just support the distinction between working – that which involves a woman leaving the house – and studying, as it was ordained she should do."
It decries beauty parlours and fashion stores as places made to look enticing by the devil, that will "encourage [women] to spend huge amounts of money to change God’s creation, demand[ing] that surgeons change the nose, ear, chin and nails. This is the 'real fashion of women' - things hanging from ears, hair shaved in some places and not in others, and other things that do not please the eye of the beholder."
Western emancipation of women is a failure, the document says, and woman gain "nothing from the idea of equality with men apart from thorns".
But much of the document sets out the "idyllic" life in the Islamic State, calling the Syrian town of Raqqa a haven for would-be immigrants where "families live in peace and are untouched by hunger, the cold winds or frost". It makes no mention of the frequent brutal executions, including crucifixions and beheadings, the murder of gay people by throwing them from buildings, as well as the enslavement of Yazidi women and children.
"We are presented with a direct window into the psyche of female jihadists who buy into Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s 'Caliphate” and all it stands for," Charlie Winter, the analyst at the Quilliam Foundation who translated the document, said.
The document was published on January 23 but has so far not appeared with an English translation. "Besides anything else, the report is important because it adds flesh to the bones of analysis on the role of women in lands controlled by IS, something that has, to date, been based on messaging on social media from English-speaking female jihadists who have regularly been guilty of exaggerating their role in order to attract recruits," Winter said.
"Women, it is unambiguously stated, are homemakers and mothers. The matters of adventure and excitement, themes most used by female Western recruiters trying to recruit young girls to IS, are the realm of men."