Women's involvement in the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) since its establishment in 1930 until they laid down their arms in 1989 contributed much to the strength of the party. Women in the MCP have been presented largely as nurses, cooks, seamstresses, couriers, and wireless/radio operators, but they went through hardship and danger and fought the same battles as the male guerrillas. A few even climbed to the top party posts through hard work, intelligence and personal sacrifice. This paper recovers the role of women in the Malayan communist movement during the Second World War, the Emergency and after by tracing the careers and lives of party heroines / female role models as well as some ordinary cadres. Major questions include the motivations of women who joined the MCP and the challenges they faced in their roles as propagandists, comrades, guerrilla fighters and in the communist villages. This investigation provides more insight into how the revolutionary struggle transformed these Malayan women.
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