WoB : Women and the bomb (Jana Wattenberg) (UKRI guarantee fund)

Project: Externally funded research

Project Details


The nuclear weapons field is one of the most gendered areas of international security and reputed to be a particularly hostile workplace for women. Think tank reports criticise the absence of women and gendered perspectives from nuclear policy debates while gender initiatives seek to increase the representation of women in the field. These studies and policy initiatives share two conclusions: First, women are underrepresented in the nuclear weapons field. Second, the inclusion of women would bring a qualitative change to this policy area. Currently, academic literature fails to provide empirical support for both conclusions. Systematically collected data is missing on the number of women who are working with nuclear weapons, women’s experiences of working in the field have been recorded only anecdotally and the impact of women’s increased representation remains unclear. The Women and the Bomb (WoB) project will address these gaps by methodically gathering and analysing the missing quantitative and qualitative data. WoB will conduct a large-scale, systematic data collection exercise and a multi-site ethnographic study of women’s contributions to the field in the United States (US) in the post- Cold War era. It will map women’s representation in the nuclear weapons field, explore the experiences and ideas of female professionals who work with nuclear weapons and investigate how an increase in gender balance might change policy processes.
Effective start/end date01 Sept 202231 Aug 2025


  • Horizon Europe (EP/X021661/1 HORIZON-MSCA-2021-PF-01-101064905): £249,215.67


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