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Pacific Regional Perspectives on Women and the Media: Making the Connection with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace, and Security) and Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action


Bhagwan-Rolls, Sharon. 2011. "Pacific Regional Perspectives on Women and the Media: Making the Connection with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace, and Security) and Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action." Signs 36 (3): 570-77.

Author: Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls


If empowerment means challenging social norms, equalizing power relations, and enabling individuals and groups to actively claim their rights, then what does it mean for women in rural communities in the Pacific Island region, where the basic necessities of life remain unfulfilled? Where is the peace if there is poverty of information and communication? What does it mean for small Pacific Island states where national budgets for gender equality rely on bilateral support rather than real investment and equity in the allocation of national budgets? What does all this mean for women working to transform information and communication systems to ensure that women in our rural communities are not just informed but are also able to inform and influence both the security-sector-governance and truth-and-reconciliation processes as well as to articulate our economic security priorities, which are linked to our political security? These questions are critical when trying to decipher the implications of Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action for women of the Pacific region, which includes a diverse media environment ranging from a major global news hub in Australia to our mobile women’s radio station in Fiji. They are equally critical in our work of coordinating a regional women’s media network dedicated to advancing the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. (The University of Chicago Press Journals)


Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Budgeting, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, Infrastructure, Information & Communication Technologies, Justice, TRCs, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania

Year: 2011

Who are you for? Women, Children and Hierarchies of Power


Stovel, Laura, "Who are you for? Women, Children and Hierarchies of Power" In Long Road Home: Building Reconciliation and Trust in Post-War Sierra Leone, (Portland: Intersentia, 2010).

Author: Laura Stovel

Topics: Gender, Women, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: the Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence


Helman, Sara. 2015. “Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: The Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 28 (4): 377–94. doi:10.1007/s10767-015-9198-y.

Author: Sara Helman


This article analyzes the repertoires of contention and discourse of two Israeli antidenial movements, Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch. Through confession and testimony, both social movement organizations (SMOs) demand that Israeli society acknowledge its “problematic present,” which includes human rights violations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in a situation of ongoing ethno-national conflict, and insist that it take responsibility for this reality and act against it. It is based on the interpretative analyses of both SMOs’ reports. Reports are analyzed as narratives in the context of Israel’s national identity and its main motives which are also constitutive of a culture of collective denial. The article compares the testimonial practices of Machsom Watch to testimonies of women in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the confessions of Breaking the Silence veterans to those displayed in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as well as confessions of veterans during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confession and testimony are usually analyzed as blazing the path to a new and inclusive national identity (as was the case in South Africa). In the case of Israel, however, their adoption and mobilization destabilize national identity and turn it into a field of contention.

Keywords: Israel/Palestine, Social movements in Israel, confession, testimonies

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Civil Society, Gender, Justice, TRCs Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2015

Engendering Transitional Justice: a Transformative Approach to Building Peace and Attaining Human Rights for Women


Lambourne, Wendy, and Vivianna Rodriguez Carreon. 2016. “Engendering Transitional Justice: A Transformative Approach to Building Peace and Attaining Human Rights for Women.” Human Rights Review 17 (1): 71–93.

Authors: Wendy Lambourne, Vivianna Rodriguez Carreon


In this article, we examine the continuity of harms and traumas experienced by women before, during and after war and other mass violence. We focus on women because of the particular challenges they face in accessing justice due to patriarchal structures and ongoing discrimination in the political, economic and social, as well as legal spheres, and because of the gendered nature of the crimes and harms they experience. We use the four key pillars of transitional justice identified by the United Nations as a framework to analyse how these harms are addressed in the context of criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations and institutional reform. We conclude that a gender-transformative approach to transitional justice that focuses on transforming psychosocial, socioeconomic and political power relations in society is needed in order to attain human rights for women and build a sustainable peace.

Keywords: gender, women's rights, sexual violence, transitional justice, peace building, transformative justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Peacebuilding, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence

Year: 2016

Sexual Violence Against Women and the Experience of Truth Commissions


Mantilla Falcon, Julissa. 2008. “Sexual Violence Against Women and the Experience of Truth Commissions.” In Global Empowerment of Women: Responses to Globalization and Politicized Religions, 215–33. New York: Routledge.

Author: Julissa Mantilla Falcon

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, TRCs, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence

Year: 2008

Depoliticised Speech and Sexed Visibility: Women, Gender and Sexual Violence in the Guatemalan Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico Report


Rosser, Emily. 2007. “Depoliticised Speech and Sexed Visibility: Women, Gender and Sexual Violence in the 1999 Guatemalan Comisión Para El Esclarecimiento Histórico Report.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1 (3): 391–410. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijm032.

Author: Emily Rosser


This paper analyses how concepts of gender, sexual violence and women functioned within the 1999 Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH). Through a discourse analysis of the text of the CEH report, I argue that because the Commission presents data about sexual violence without a more broadly integrated gender analysis, it fails to recognise indigenous women, or their claims, as political and thus reinforces their marginality. I situate this report in the context of universalising discourses of human rights and democratisation, in which women's participation is held up as evidence of gender correctness while what they say is often of less concern. Amidst calls for gender mainstreaming and ‘women's rights as human rights,’ truth commissions and human rights bodies must work harder at the conceptual level to interrogate how gender, ‘race,’ class, nation and other intersecting oppressions are at work, both during a genocide and afterwards, in the construction of truths and the reconstruction of societies.

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Race, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2007

Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative


Mibenge, Chiseche Salome. 2013. Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press. 

Author: Chiseche Salome Mibenge


Before the twenty-first century, there was little legal precedent for the prosecution of sexual violence as a war crime. Now, international tribunals have the potential to help make sense of political violence against both men and women; they have the power to uphold victims' claims and to convict the leaders and choreographers of systematic atrocity. However, by privileging certain accounts of violence over others, tribunals more often confirm outmoded gender norms, consigning women to permanent rape victim status.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, International Criminal Law, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Post-Conflict, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Rwanda, Sierra Leone

Year: 2013

Narratives of Suffering and Endurance: Coercive Sexual Relationships, Truth Commissions and Possibilities for Gender Justice in Timor-Leste


Kent, Lia. 2014. “Narratives of Suffering and Endurance: Coercive Sexual Relationships, Truth Commissions and Possibilities for Gender Justice in Timor-Leste.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 8 (2): 289–313. doi:10.1093/ijtj/iju008.

Author: Lia Kent


This article examines the narratives of 19 East Timorese women who were coerced into sexual relationships with members of the Indonesian security forces during the 24-year Indonesian occupation. Close attention to the key themes emerging from these stories helps to deepen understandings of women’s diverse experiences of the conflict and postconflict periods, and sheds light on the gendered possibilities and limits of truth commissions. By destabilizing the therapeutic assumptions of truth commissions, these women’s narratives also assist in developing a more contextualized, locally grounded and long-term approach to the pursuit of gender justice in Timor-Leste and elsewhere.

Keywords: Timor-Leste, women's narrative, sexual violence, truth commissions, gender justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Sexual Violence Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2016

On the Frontlines: Gender, War, and the Post-Conflict Process


Aoláin, Fionnuala Ní, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Naomi Cahn. 2011. On the Frontlines: Gender, War, and the Post-Conflict Process. Oxford University Press. 

Authors: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Dina Francesca Haynes, Naomi Cahn


Our book, On the Frontlines, gives a comprehensive overview of the post-conflict terrain as it is experienced by women across multiple jurisdictions and in the wake of numerous conflicts. In creating and applying the concept of gender centrality the book addresses how gender can be made central to a range of post-conflict processes, and in so doing how the experiences of marginality and exclusion for women can be structurally and substantively addressed. The book draws on a range of contemporary feminist theorizing to frame its analysis of how gender is pivotal to the post-conflict context. We address: intervention, peacekeeping, development, rule of law, constitution making, DDR, security sector reform, truth processes, and criminal accountability for gender based violence. 

Countries in the post-conflict transition process provide multiple opportunities for transformation on many different levels, including accountability for human rights violations committed during hostilities; reforming local and national laws; reintegration of soldiers; rehabilitation and redress for victims; the establishment or reestablishment of the rule of law, human rights institutions, and governance structures; changing cultural attitudes; and improving socioeconomic conditions. These opportunities are rare in stable and non-transitional societies and explain in part why societies in conflict garner such significant international and institutional attention. The opportunities for massive transformation are, in theory, open-ended.

We explore the role that gender plays in the construction and implementation of the post-conflict transitional process. The book’s approach is feminist in form and in methodology. Multiple strands of feminist theorization provide the foundations for our analysis and some offer contradictory advice on how to proceed. As feminist scholars influenced by varying theoretical outlooks, we draw on a wide range of feminist approaches and theories to inform our thinking on the numerous issues addressed. Viewing processes of transition in conflicted societies through the lens of the multifaceted social movement that constitutes feminist theory and action provides a unique means to assess political, social, and economic change as it works or does not work for women. This methodological choice affirms the importance of a gender lens by firmly unmasking the ways in which situations and constructs appear neutral, but are in practice gendered masculine. We situate the visibility of women’s concerns to the forefront of our inquiries and ultimately seek a recalibration that requires a rethinking of both the masculine and the feminine in conflicted and post-conflict settings.

Conflicts affect both men and women, but women face additional issues during and after wars that men do not, including, of course, pervasive sexual violence, forced impregnation, reproductive violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and forced abortion. Women and their children experience internal displacement and dominate the refugee populations across conflicts. Women are also differentially affected because of their role as the primary caretaker of the household and family. In this regard, traditional gender dichotomies may be further entrenched and exacerbated during times of extreme violence. By contrast, during some conflicts in which aspects of a functioning state and economy continue to exist, women can take on roles as workers and laborers outside of the home, opportunities which would never transpire were the society not in conflict. In this way, as other feminist scholars have noted, conflict opens up intended and unintended spaces for empowerment, “effecting structural and social transformations and producing new social, economic and political realities that redefine gender and caste hierarchies.” In other conflicts, however, women are the least often employed or employable because of their often legally enforced second-class status in many conflict zones. Across most post-conflict transitions, women are the first to be fired and the last to be hired with the large exception of the false economy build-up around the presence of the international community, in which women are paid to fill the “camp follower” positions as housekeepers, cooks, administrative employees, and, of course, for sex. Peacemaking agreements and transitional structures, however, rarely account for these paradoxical roles.

The primary focus of this book is surveying the interplay of gender with conflict and post-conflict processes, allied with the recognition that women must be central to the powerful and transformative potential of the post-conflict terrain. Conflict-ending and transitional processes are already deeply gendered, drawing on existing cultural, legal, and political practices that are deeply embedded across societies and cultures. The entrenched gender coding of such processes is predominantly masculine and operates to include or make women visible in highly selective ways. A core concern here is the assumption by states and international institutions that conflict endings are the same for women as for men. We consistently challenge that assumption. We also contest the idea that the end of conflict constitutes the end of violence, confrontation, vulnerability, or related manifestations of war for women. As the motif of this book’s title suggests, women are invariably at the frontline of conflict, in the physical and metaphysical sense. Their bodies are in the frontline of military strategy and targeting, and the social networks and spaces women maintain are also frontline targets for destruction and undoing. As examples from multiple jurisdictions indicate, the formal end of hostilities between generally male combatants often have little effect on the quality of life for women as they remain vulnerable and at the vanguard of hazards and threats despite paper agreements between elite actors.

(Abstract from Social Science Research Network)

Keywords: gender, international law, human rights law, post conflict, post conflict reconstruction, democratization, governace, rule of law, institution building, feminist international law


Part I - Conflict and its Dynamics 

Chapter 1 - Before, During and After Conflict - The Connections for Women 
Mapping the Status of Women Prior to Conflict 
Some Relevant Measures 
Gender, Law, and Social Capital 
A Practical Assessment of the Before and After 

Chapter 2 - Gender and the Forms and Experiences of Conflict 
Women as Political and Military Actors 
Violence, Women, and Victimization 
Masculinities and Conflict 

Part II - Towards Peace 

Chapter 3 - The Significance of Security: Realizing Peace 
Is Gender Central to Security? 
Security Reform and Transition 
Critique of Mainstream Approaches to the Concept of Post-Conflict Security 
So Where is Gender in Security Reform? 
Security Reform, Transition, and Transnational Interests 
A New Paradigm of Gendered Security 

Chapter 4 - Engendering International Intervention 
International Interventions 
The Actors 
Towards Gender Positive Intervention 
Capturing and Retaining Gender Equity Achieved During War 

Chapter 5 - Peacekeeping 
Parameters and Status of Peacekeeping Missions 
Masculinities of Peacekeeping 
Positive and Negative Lessons Learned from Peacekeeping Missions 
Positives and Negatives of Employment and Economic Stimulus 
Sexual Violence and Peacekeeping Missions 
What Would Gender-Positive Peacekeeping Address? 
Legal Accountability 
Codes of Conduct 
Added Gender Roles in Peacekeeping 

Chapter 6 - Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programs (DDR) 
DDR Programs: What Happens? 
The Power of Gender and DDR 
Deconstructing DDR Programs 
Reconstructing DDR Programs 
Attention to Masculinities 
The Ways Forward 

Chapter 7 - International and Local Criminal Accountability for Gendered Violence 
Sex-Based Violence and Accountability in International Law 
The Legal Journey to Codify Gendered Crimes in Armed Conflicts 
Evidentiary Rules and Sexual Violence 
Other Accountability Mechanisms - Restorative Justice and Other Practices 

Chapter 8 - Remedies 
Truth Processes 
The Gendered Dimensions of Truth Recovery 
How Can Truth Recovery Mechanisms Centralize Gender? 
Lustration, Vetting, and Gender 

Chapter 9 - Law Reform, Constitutional Design, and Gender 
Gender and the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Societies 
Constitutional Transformation and Post-Conflict Processes 
Process: Peace Agreements as Constitutional Documents 
Constitutional Gender Centrality - Substance and Export 
Reproductive Rights 

Part III - Reconstruction and Development 

Chapter 10 - Gender and Governance 
Post Conflict Governance 
Institution Building 
Governance Conflated with Economic Reconstruction and Democratization 
Gendering Governance 

Chapter 11 - Development Infrastructure: Economics, Health and Education 
The Differing Directions of Post-conflict and Development Fields 
Gender Centrality in Development 
Social Services Justice as the Integration of Post Conflict 
Processes and Development 
Long-term Development

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, DDR, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Domestic Violence, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Health, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Trauma, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2011

Gender Hate Propaganda and Sexual Violence in the Rwandan Genocide: An Argument for Intersectionality in International Law


Coleman, Llezlie Green. 2002. “Gender Hate Propaganda and Sexual Violence in the Rwandan Genocide: An Argument for Intersectionality in International Law.” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 33 (3): 733-76.

Author: Llezlie Green Coleman


This article explores the gendered dimensions of genocidal hate propaganda before and during the Rwandan genocide and proposes that the international tribunal consider these cases with an intersectional approach that attempts to fully appreciate the harm inflicted upon Tutsi women.

Keywords: human rights, genocide, critical theory

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Non-state armed groups, Race, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2002


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