Women Survivors of Sexual Violence and the Need to Repair. A Comparative Analysis of Timor-Leste and Haiti


Badulescu, C. L., and D. AM. Radu. 2019. "Women Survivors of Sexual Violence and the Need to Repair. A Comparative Analysis of Timor-Leste and Haiti." Paper presented at the 1st Congress of the Mukwege International Chair, Liege, November 13-15.

Authors: CL Badulescu, D AM Radu


The truth commissions which were authorized to operate in Timor-Leste and Haiti edited final reports whose recommendations included among others a set of reparations proposals for the victims of the human rights violations. We will analyze in what way reparations contributed to the rehabilitation of women survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. To this end, we will look at how both Timor-Leste and Haiti designed and implemented programs in accordance with the reparations proposals included in the truth commissions' reports.
The comparative analysis will look at the differences and similarities regarding the manner in which the two countries approached the issue of women survivors of sexual violence in the elaboration of the truth commissions' reports, in the proposed reparations and in their implementation. The societal resources invested by Timor-Leste and Haiti in supporting and promoting reparations programs will also be assessed.
The comparative method will rely upon the content analysis of truth commissions 'reports, of official and unofficial documents, of government officials' statements, and of several interviews conducted with representatives of NGOs that deal with the implementation of reparations programs in Timor-Leste and Haiti. We will emphasize the potential, but also the limits of reparations programs in addressing the issue of conflict-related sexual violence against women and to the extent to which they have been tailored to their needs.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Justice, Reparations, TRCs, NGOs, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, Oceania Countries: Haiti, Timor-Leste

Year: 2019

Gender Mainstreaming in a Post-Conflict State


D’Costa, Bina and Katrina Lee-Koo, ed. 2009. Gender Mainstreaming in a Post-Conflict State. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Bina D'Costa, Katrina Lee-Koo


Gender equality is widely believed by international organizations and mainstream commentators to contribute to the consolidation of democratic norms and domestic and international peace.1 The United Nations (UN) has promoted strategies for achieving gender equality as a central part of its peacebuilding and reconstruction programs. In Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor, UN missions have incorporated gender mainstreaming and gender-balanced decision-making policies and programs to foster civil society as means to ensure long-term peace and development. To what extent, though, are these institutional initiatives able to transform the deep-seated gendered social hierarchies in these new states? Feminist scholars argue that such hierarchies are at the root of violence against women, women’s lack of voice, and political representation. They hold that any meaningful democratic strategy must eliminate these hierarchies to bring about political freedom and equality. In Timor these feminist perspectives on gender justice and equality are an emerging part of the public debate about the processes of democratization in state and civil society. They can be seen in speeches, communications, and reports of local women’s organizations, donor agencies, NGOs, and the UN, however, this political activity has yet to be theoretically analyzed by feminist or nonfeminist scholars. Here we seek to highlight some of the gendered practices of democratization and assess the struggles within East Timorese civil society to forge a gender-equal democracy.

Keywords: civil society, domestic violence, United Nations, gender equality, gender perspective

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Domestic Violence, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peacekeeping Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Oceania Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Timor-Leste

Year: 2009

Reparations for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Lessons from the International Criminal Court


Hodgson, Natalie. 2018. "Reparations for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Lessons from the International Criminal Court." Precedent, no. 144, 48-51. 

Author: Natalie Hodgson


Throughout the world, reparations have been used as a response to mass violence and serious violations of human rights in countries such as Cambodia, Mexico and South Africa. In Australia, reparations schemes to redress the harms of the Stolen Generations have been implemented in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia. Additionally, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse referred to reparations principles while formulating its recommendations for redress.1 As such, it is increasingly important for Australian lawyers to understand how reparations can be used to secure justice for victims of human rights violations.

Topics: Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Reparations, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Violence Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2018

Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice


Lahai, John Idris, and Khanyisela Moyo, ed. 2018. Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: John Idriss Lahai, Khanyisela Moyo


This volume counters one-sided dominant discursive representations of gender in human rights and transitional justice, and women’s place in the transformations of neoliberal human rights, and contributes a more balanced examination of how transitional justice and human rights institutions, and political institutions impact the lives and experiences of women. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the contributors to this volume theorize and historicize the place of women’s rights (and gender), situating it within contemporary country-specific political, legal, socio-cultural and global contexts. Chapters examine the progress and challenges facing women (and women’s groups) in transitioning countries: from Peru to Argentina, from Kenya to Sierra Leone, and from Bosnia to Sri Lanka, in a variety of contexts, attending especially to the relationships between local and global forces. (Summary from Palgrave Macmillan)
Table of Contents:
1. Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice
2. Feminism during Social and Political Repression in Egypt: Making or Breaking Resistance Through Legal Activism
3. Power, Prejudice and Transitional Constitution-Making In Kenya: The Gender of Law and Religious Politics in Reproductive Choice
4. Civil Society and the Regulation of Laws Against Gender Violence in Timor-Leste
5. Addressing Violence Against Women Through Legislative Reform In States Transitioning From The Arab Spring
6. Human Rights Frameworks and Women’s Rights In Post-Transitional Justice Sierra Leone
7. Engendering Justice: The Promotion of Women in Post-Conflict and Post-Transitional Criminal Justice Institutions
8. Justice and Reparations Policies in Peru and Argentine: Towards The De-legitimization of Sexual Violence
9. Women Between War Scylla and Nationalist Charybdis: Legal Interpretations of Sexual Violence in Countries of Former Yugoslavia

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Oceania Countries: Argentina, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2018

Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military: An International Comparison


Egnell, Robert, and Mayesha Alam, eds. 2019. Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military: An International Comparison. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press. 

Authors: Robert Egnell, Mayesha Alam


“Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military compares the integration of women, gender perspectives, and the women, peace, and security agenda into the armed forces of eight countries plus NATO and United Nations peacekeeping operations. This book brings a much-needed crossnational analysis of how militaries have or have not improved gender balance, what has worked and what has not, and who have been the agents for change.
The country cases examined are Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, and South Africa. Despite increased opportunities for women in the militaries of many countries and wider recognition of the value of including gender perspectives to enhance operational effectiveness, progress has encountered roadblocks even nearly twenty years after United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 kicked off the women, peace, and security agenda. Robert Egnell, Mayesha Alam, and the contributors to this volume conclude that there is no single model for change that can be applied to every country, but the comparative findings reveal many policy-relevant lessons while advancing scholarship about women and gendered perspectives in the military.” (Egnell and Alam 2019)
Table of Contents: 
1. Introduction: Gender and Women in the Military—Setting the Stage
Robert Egnell and Mayesha Alam
2. Women in UN Peacekeeping Operations
Sabrina Karim
3. Sweden's Implementation of a Gender Perspective: Cutting Edge but Momentum Lost
Robert Egnell
4. The Gender Perspective and Canada's Armed Forces: Internal and External Dimensions of Military Culture
Stéfanie von Hlatky
5. The Role and Impact of Change Catalysts on the Netherlands Defense Organization: Integration of Women and Gender in Operations
Yvette Langenhuizen
6. Women and Gender in the US Military: A Slow Process of Integration
Brenda Oppermann
7. Women, Gender, and Close Combat Roles in the UK: "Sluts," "Bitches," and "Honorary Blokes"
Anthony King
8. Are Women Really Equal in the People's Army? A Gender Perspective on the Israel Defence Forces
Hanna Herzog
9. The Case of Australia: From "Culture" Reforms to a Culture of Rights
Susan Harris Rimmer
10. Three Waves of Gender Integration: The Causes, Consequences, and Implications for the South African Armed Forces
Lindy Heinecken
11. Integrating Gender Perspectives at NATO: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Charlotte Isaksson
12. Conclusion: Lessons of Comparison and Limits of Generalization
Robert Egnell and Mayesha Alam

Topics: Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peace and Security, Peacekeeping, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2019

Are Health Systems Interventions Gender Blind? Examining Health System Reconstruction in Conflict Affected States


Percival, Valerie, Esther Dusabe-Richards, Haja Wurie, Justine Namakula, Sarah Ssali, and Sally Theobald. 2018. "Are Health Systems Interventions Gender Blind? Examining Health System Reconstruction in Conflict Affected States." Globalization and Health 14: 1-23.

Authors: Valerie Percival, Esther Dusabe-Richards, Haja Wurie, Justine Namakula, Sarah Ssali, Sally Theobald


Background: Global health policy prioritizes improving the health of women and girls, as evident in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), multiple women’s health initiatives, and the billions of dollars spent by international donors and national governments to improve health service delivery in low-income countries. Countries recovering from fragility and conflict often engage in wide-ranging institutional reforms, including within the health system, to address inequities. Research and policy do not sufficiently explore how health system interventions contribute to the broader goal of gender equity.

Methods: This paper utilizes a framework synthesis approach to examine if and how rebuilding health systems affected gender equity in the post-conflict contexts of Mozambique, Timor Leste, Sierra Leone, and Northern Uganda. To undertake this analysis, we utilized the WHO health systems building blocks to establish benchmarks of gender equity. We then identified and evaluated a broad range of available evidence on these building blocks within these four contexts. We reviewed the evidence to assess if and how health interventions during the post-conflict reconstruction period met these gender equity benchmarks.

Findings: Our analysis shows that the four countries did not meet gender equitable benchmarks in their health systems. Across all four contexts, health interventions did not adequately reflect on how gender norms are replicated by the health system, and conversely, how the health system can transform these gender norms and promote gender equity. Gender inequity undermined the ability of health systems to effectively improve health outcomes for women and girls. From our findings, we suggest the key attributes of gender equitable health systems to guide further research and policy.

Conclusion: The use of gender equitable benchmarks provides important insights into how health system interventions in the post-conflict period neglected the role of the health system in addressing or perpetuating gender inequities. Given the frequent contact made by individuals with health services, and the important role of the health system within societies, this gender blind nature of health system engagement missed an important opportunity to contribute to more equitable and peaceful societies. 

Keywords: gender and health, health systems, post-conflict, gender and development

Topics: Development, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Health, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Oceania Countries: Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Uganda

Year: 2018

If Women Are Everywhere: Tracing the Multiplicity of Women’s Resistance to Extraction in NSW, Australia


Ey, Melina. 2020. “If Women Are Everywhere: Tracing the Multiplicity of Women’s Resistance to Extraction in NSW, Australia.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 1 – 24. doi: 10.1080/0966369X.2020.1724897.

Author: Melina Ey


In response to the longstanding erasure of women from representations of resistance within the academy, increasing attention is being paid to myriad ways in which women are performing and enacting resistance. This is particularly evident in burgeoning research exploring women’s resistance to natural resource extraction. However, within this literature, a prevailing reliance on gender as an explanatory analytic runs the risk of overlooking a much wider, messier and diverse resistance terrain. This paper argues that in continuing to rely primarily on gender to frame and analyse women’s resistance to resource extraction, gender can inadvertently become installed as a form of strong theory, which obscures the many ways in which women’s resistance to natural resource extraction is multiple, contingent, more-than-gendered, and more-than-human. Rather than relying on singular categories of social difference (such as gender) to explain women’s resistance, this paper turns to weak theory to move away from explaining why women resist, to instead exploring the many diverse ways that they resist. Drawing on two stories of women’s resistance to natural resource extraction in New South Wales, Australia, this paper uses weak theory to attend to the diverse more-than-gendered and more-than-human ways in which women resist, and argues that such multiplicity is erased when women’s resistance to resource extraction continues to be approached primarily through singular analytical framings.

Keywords: more-than-human, resistance, resource extraction, weak theory, women

Topics: Civil Society, Environment, Feminisms, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2020

Frontier Finance: The Role of Microfinance in Debt and Violence in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste


Johnston, Melissa Frances. 2020. “Frontier Finance: The Role of Microfinance in Debt and Violence in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste.” Review of International Political Economy, April, 1–25. doi: 10.1080/09692290.2020.1733633. 

Author: Melissa Frances Johnston


Microfinance programs targeting poor women are considered a ‘prudent’ first step for international financial institutions seeking to rebuild post conflict economies. IFIs continue to visibly support microfinance despite evidence and growing consensus that microfinance neither reduces poverty nor breaks the cycle of domestic violence. In the case of Timor-Leste, a feminist political economy approach reveals how microfinance engendered debt allows for the control, extraction, and accumulation of profits and resources by an elite class and exacerbates gender-based violence. Timorese elite classes have benefitted from microfinance during the Indonesian occupation and in today’s post-conflict regime. Extractive debt relations between elite classes and ordinary citizens are enabled by a gender order that is regulated by brideprice and characterized by gendered circuits of violence. Brideprice weds the exchange of women to the class system in which the (violent) control of women is paramount to retaining political power. Microfinance adds liquidity and high interest rates to the debt relations of brideprice helping to create the very conditions for poor women’s disempowerment in a fragile state. Thus, the success of microfinance is predicated on systems of gender inequality and gendered circuits of violence, debt, and the exchange of women.

Keywords: microfinance, debt, feminist political economy, peacebuilding, brideprice, gender-based violence

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Domestic Violence, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2020

The Law of Armed Conflict and the Operational Relevance of Gender: The Australian Defence Force's Implementation of the Australian National Action Plan


Prescott, Jody. 2016. "The Law of Armed Conflict and the Operational Relevance of Gender: The Australian Defence Force's Implementation of the Australian National Action Plan." In Imagining Law: Essays in Conversation with Judith Gardam, edited by Dale Stephens and Paul Babie, 195-216. South Australia: University of Adelaide Press.

Author: Jody Prescott


“Australia, like many other nations, has now promulgated a national action plan (NAP) to implement UNSCR 1325 across the whole of its government's activities. Unlike other nations' militaries, however, the speed and the thoroughness with which the Australian Defense Force  (ADF) has moved to incorporate the requirements of UNSCR 1325 and related Security Council resolutions as reflected in the Australian NAP into its activities and operations is both heartening and amazing. What is not clear at this point is whether the ADF's implementation of the NAP will culminate in dealing only with the aspects of LOAC and human rights law where they coincide, such as preventing, investigating and prosecuting instances of sex- and gender-based violence (SGBV) in operations. In arguing that the ADF needs to follow the path set out by Professor Gardam and her colleagues regarding the operational relevance of gender to law of armed conflict (LOAC) to its logical and fundamentally transforming conclusion, this chapter will first briefly describe how the differentiated impact of armed conflict and climate change upon women and girls might influence the modern international security environment in which the ADF operates. Mindful of these operational facts, and consistent with the NAP's requirement to enhance normative mechanisms related to the greater protection of women and girls in armed conflict, this chapter will explore the status of women under the LOAC. Next, it will explore ADF doctrine as it exists at the time of this writing, in order to set a baseline against which to measure the ADF's implementation progress. This chapter will then examine the tasks assigned to the ADF by the NAP which are particularly operational in nature, and the way in which these tasks have been translated into action as ADF implementation has progressed. Against this factual, policy and legal backdrop, how the ADF might more fully deal with the broad application of UNSCR 1325 to operational issues involving LOAC will be explored, and certain measures that might foster this result will be recommended” (Prescott 2016, 196-197). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Peacebuilding, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2016

Gender Gaps in Landownership Across and Within Households in Four Asian Countries


Kieran, Caitlin, Kathryn Sproule, Agnes R. Quisumbing, and Cheryl R. Doss. 2017. "Gender Gaps in Landownership Across and Within Households in Four Asian Countries." Land Economics 93 (2): 342-70.

Authors: Caitlin Kieran, Kathryn Sproule, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Cheryl R. Doss


Using nationally representative data from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, this paper investigates which individual and household characteristics influence men’s and women’s landownership across and within households. Often neglected in household-level statistics, married women in all countries are landowners. Across different household structures, women own less land than men, and less land relative to the household average as household landholdings increase. Increasing gender inequality with household wealth cannot be consistently explained by an increasing share of household land devoted to crops. Findings support the need to strengthen women’s land rights within marriage and to protect them should the marriage dissolve.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania Countries: Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Vietnam

Year: 2017


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