Citizenship Deferred: The Politics of Victimhood, Land Restitution and Gender Justice in the Colombian (Post?) Conflict


Meertens, Donny, and Margarita Zambrano. 2010. “Citizenship Deferred: The Politics of Victimhood, Land Restitution and Gender Justice in the Colombian (Post?) Conflict.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 4 (2): 189–206. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijq009.

Authors: Donny Meertens, Margarita Zambrano


This article discusses the advancement and constraints of gender justice for women victims of armed conflict and forced displacement in Colombia, with special reference to land restitution. Women constitute the overwhelming majority of rights claimants under the 2005 Justice and Peace Law and their rights have been supported by rulings of the Constitutional Court. Government response, however, has been insufficient. Women's claims are part of a broader political debate on the limits of victimhood and the costs of reparation, in which the need for restitution of land is reluctantly acknowledged. Displaced women have been more vulnerable to violent land seizures and they face greater security risks than men when attempting to reclaim their land. In this context, what approaches can Colombia use in designing a gender-sensitive land restitution program that is transformative of gender relations? The authors argue that special protection measures, land deeds for women and better access to justice must be included in transitional justice processes as a means of fostering gender-equitable development.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Women, Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice, Land Grabbing, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2010

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at