Gendered War and Gendered Peace: Truth Commissions and Postconflict Gender Violence: Lessons from South Africa


Borer, Tristan Anne. 2009. “Gendered War and Gendered Peace: Truth Commissions and Postconflict Gender Violence: Lessons from South Africa.” Violence Against Women 15 (10): 1169–93.

Author: Tristan Anne Borer


That war is profoundly gendered has long been recognized by feminist international relations scholars. What is less recognized is that the postwar period is equally gendered. Currently undertheorized is how truth-seeking exercises in the aftermath of conflict should respond to this fact. What happens to women victims of war violence? The difficulties of foregrounding gendered wartime violence in truth telling are illustrated by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The article explores some consequences of the failure to uncover gendered truth, including its impact on the government's reparations policy, and continued "peacetime" violence perpetuated against women in South Africa.

Keywords: gender, reparations, sexual violence, South Africa, truth commissions

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, TRCs, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2009

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