Legislating Gender-Based Violence in Post-Conflict Africa

Citation:

Tripp, Aili Mari. 2010. “Legislating Gender-Based Violence in Post-Conflict Africa.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 5 (3): 7–20. doi:10.1080/15423166.2010.981435347428.

Author: Aili Mari Tripp

Abstract:

Much of the literature on post-conflict Africa has focused either on the backlash against women's rights or referred very generally to new openings for gender-related policy in particular countries. A closer look at developments across the continent shows that the steady demise of a significant number of major conflicts in Africa since the mid-1980s and especially after 2000 has been accompanied by a new focus on women's representation and woman-friendly legislation and policy. This article focuses on the adoption of gender-based violence legislation, which has not to date been examined cross-nationally. It argues that post-conflict countries have adopted legislation pertaining to gender-based violence at significantly higher rates than in other countries. The article shows how this is related to the legacy of conflict. The pressures to address GBV have come from 1) women's movements, 2) changing international norms and practices reflected in programmatic shifts within international bodies like the United Nations and among foreign donors, and 3) changing opportunity structures such as the holding of peace talks or rewriting of constitutions, which allowed women to push their agenda.

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Constitutions, International Organizations, Justice, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa

Year: 2010

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