Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Transitional Justice

Gendered Narratives: Stories and Silences in Transitional Justice

Citation:

Porter, Elisabeth. 2015. “Gendered Narratives: Stories and Silences in Transitional Justice.” Human Rights Review 17 (1): 35–50. doi:10.1007/s12142-015-0389-8.

Author: Elisabeth Porter

Abstract:

Stories told about violence, trauma, and loss inform knowledge of post-conflict societies. Stories have a context which is part of the story-teller's life narrative. Reasons for silences are varied. This article affirms the importance of telling and listening to stories and notes the significance of silences within transitional justice's narratives. It does this in three ways. First, it outlines a critical narrative theory of transitional justice which confirms the importance of narrative agency in telling or withholding stories. Relatedly, it affirms the importance of story-telling as a way to explain differentiated gender requirements within transitional justice processes. Second, it examines gendered differences in the ways that women are silenced by shame, choose silence to retain self-respect, use silence as a strategy of survival, or an agential act. Third, it argues that compassionate listening requires gender-sensitive responses that recognize the narrator's sense of self and needs.

Keywords: compassionate listening, gendered narratives, narrative agency, silences, stories in transitional justice

Topics: Gender, Health, Mental Health, Justice, Transitional Justice, Violence

Year: 2015

There Is a Crack in Everything: Problematising Masculinities, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice

Citation:

Hamber, Brandon. 2016. “There Is a Crack in Everything: Problematising Masculinities, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice.” Human Rights Review 17 (1): 9–34.

Author: Brandon Hamber

Abstract:

The study of masculinity, particularly in peacebuilding and transitional justice contexts, is gradually emerging. The article outlines three fissures evident in the embryonic scholarship, that is the privileging of direct violence and its limited focus, the continuities and discontinuities in militarised violence into peace time, and the tensions between new (less violent) masculinities and wider inclusive social change. The article argues for the importance of making visible the tensions between different masculinities and how masculinities are deeply entangled with systems of power and post-conflict social, political and economic outcomes. An analysis of masculine power within and between the structures aimed at building the peace in societies moving out of violence is considered essential. The article argues for an analysis that moves beyond a preoccupation with preventing violent masculinities from manifesting through the actions of individuals to considering how hidden masculine cultures operate within a variety of hierarchies and social spaces.

Keywords: masculinity, peacebuilding, transitional justice, gender, political violence, hegemony, intersectionality

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2015

The Violence of Peace: Ethnojustice in Northern Uganda

Citation:

Branch, Adam. 2014. “The Violence of Peace: Ethnojustice in Northern Uganda.” Development and Change 45 (3): 608–30. doi:10.1111/dech.12094.

Author: Adam Branch

Abstract:

Traditional justice, or what this article refers to as ‘ethnojustice’, claims to promote social reconstruction, peace and justice after episodes of war by rebuilding traditional order. Ethnojustice has become an increasingly prominent mode of transitional justice in northern Uganda. As such interventions multiply throughout Africa, it is essential to probe their political and practical consequences. This article situates ethnojustice theoretically within the broader discourse, practice and institutions of transitional justice, and historically within the reaction against orthodox liberal transitional justice from within the industry. Through an engagement with ethnojustice texts and interventions in the Acholi region of northern Uganda, the article argues that ethnojustice can end up extending forms of unaccountable, patriarchal power within Acholi society, funded and supported by the Ugandan state and international donors. In addition to underpinning this project of social discipline, ethnojustice also benefits the Ugandan state in its effort to avoid accountability for its violence during the war.

Topics: Ethnicity, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2014

Performing Repatriation? The Role of Refugee Aid in Shaping New Beginnings in Mauritania

Citation:

Fresia, Marion. 2014. “Performing Repatriation? The Role of Refugee Aid in Shaping New Beginnings in Mauritania.” Development and Change 45 (3): 434–57. doi:10.1111/dech.12086.

Author: Marion Fresia

Abstract:

Academic work on transitional justice has tended to focus on the most obvious and institutionalized sites where ideas about justice and transition are discussed or contested, such as truth commissions or international tribunals. Yet, there are many other sites where such ideas are framed, circulated or challenged, including sites outside transitional countries. Drawing on the case of Mauritania, where the repatriation of refugees has played a highly symbolic role during the latest ‘democratic’ transition, this article explores the specific roles played by refugee aid and past experiences of refugee life in shaping the terms of new beginnings in this country. As places of intense politicization of memory and appropriation of transnational discourses on human rights violations and transitional justice, refugee camps enhance the construction of new imagined communities based on a feeling of victimhood and abnormality and the construction of hegemonic narratives over the ‘just order’ to be aspired to for the future. The article outlines how such hegemonic ideas on justice and transition are shaped by humanitarian actors and the refugee elite, while at the same time being contested by subaltern groups through the production of alternative accounts of past injustices and through mundane practices.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice, Transitional Justice Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mauritania

Year: 2014

The Gender Justice Shadow of Complementarity: Lessons from the International Criminal Court’s Preliminary Examinations in Guinea and Colombia

Citation:

Chappell, Louise, Rosemary Grey, and Emily Waller. 2013. “The Gender Justice Shadow of Complementarity: Lessons from the International Criminal Court’s Preliminary Examinations in Guinea and Colombia.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 7 (3): 455–75. 

Authors: Louise Chappell, Rosemary Grey, Emily Walker

Abstract:

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) includes gender justice provisions, notably the recognition of crimes of sexual violence experienced by women in armed conflict. The Statute also institutes a complementarity regime, leaving states parties with primary responsibility for prosecuting international crimes. However, it fails to link these two innovative provisions, leaving a ‘gender justice complementarity shadow.’ Through an analysis of ICC preliminary examinations in Guinea and Colombia, this article argues that the Office of the Prosecutor’s apparent inattention to gender biases underpinning domestic legal systems has left impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence intact and the victims of these crimes unrecognized. It argues that to tackle impunity for sexual violence through complementarity requires the ICC prosecutor to include an examination of gender biases in domestic legal systems when testing state action, willingness and ability in order to understand how these biases impede access to justice for victims of sexual violence.

Keywords: international criminal court, gender justice, complementarity, Guinea, Colombia

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America Countries: Colombia, Guinea

Year: 2013

Notes from the Field: Silence Kills! Women and the Transitional Justice Process in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia

Citation:

Gray, Doris H., and Terry Coonan. 2013. “Notes from the Field: Silence Kills! Women and the Transitional Justice Process in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 7 (2): 348–57. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijt002.

Authors: Doris H. Gray, Terry Coonan

Abstract:

This article is based on the first collection of testimonies of female former political prisoners in Tunisia. Relying on purposive rather than random sampling, the interviews were aimed at contributing to an authentic Tunisian process of transitional justice that takes cultural, religious and gender-based norms into consideration. To date, the voices of conservative Islamist women detained under the Tunisian dictatorship have been significantly absent from the national discourse on transitional justice. Select voices of women are presented here that can begin to address this gap. The newly elected provisional government, in which the Islamist Ennahda Party enjoys a majority, has established a Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice, the first of its kind in the world. While this augurs well for Tunisia’s future, there is fear that the transitional justice process may nonetheless be captured by political agendas.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Justice, Transitional Justice Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Tunisia

Year: 2013

Voices Around Us: Memory and Community Empowerment in Reconstruction Efforts in Colombia

Citation:

Ruiz Romero, Gabriel. 2012. “Voices Around Us: Memory and Community Empowerment in Reconstruction Efforts in Colombia.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 6 (3): 547–57. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijs018.

Author: Gabriel Ruiz Romero

Abstract:

Although the Colombian armed conflict has had the most impact in the countryside, rural communities have had only a marginal role in the development of state policies designed to address the effects of violence. Seeking to overcome such marginalization, peasant women victims of the armed conflict from Granada came together to address this imbalance and preserve the memory of their dead and missing relatives. They formed the Asociación de Víctimas de Granada and launched the project, Salón del Nunca Más (Hall of Never Again). This Notes from the Field piece explores the association’s strategies to conserve memory and offers some preliminary observations on the outcomes of the self-healing process within this community.

Keywords: Colombia, memory, community associations, reconstruction, forced disappearances

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2012

Silence as Possibility in Postwar Everyday Life

Citation:

Eastmond, Marita, and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic. 2012. “Silence as Possibility in Postwar Everyday Life.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 6 (3): 502–24. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijs026.

Authors: Marita Eastmond, Johanna Mannergren Selimovic

Abstract:

Silence is a form of communication as multifaceted as speech and as such conveys a broad range of contextually situated social meanings. Often silence is understood as a form of denial and inherently detrimental to processes of reconciliation, but it may help create a sense of ‘normality’ and facilitate encounters between former foes. This article enquires into the role and meanings of silence as tacit forms of communication in postwar social processes and everyday life among people of different ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly as used by the displaced and returnees. It argues that in these contentious settings, everyday social interaction employs silence in ways that empower by communicating respect and even trust, thus forming and sustaining relations important to viable local life. Silence can be used to affirm family continuity and protect close relationships. Silent claims may also ‘speak’ from a marginalized position in relation to hegemonic narratives and make moral claims. Silence may thus be understood as a pragmatic and at times successful strategy for coexistence even when reflecting continued division in the larger society.

Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, silence, memory, displacement, returnees

Topics: Class, Gender, Women, Men, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2012

‘One Pair of Shoes, One Life’: Steps towards Accountability for Genocide in Srebrenica

Citation:

Simić, Olivera, and Kathleen Daly. 2011. “‘One Pair of Shoes, One Life’: Steps towards Accountability for Genocide in Srebrenica.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 5 (3): 477–91. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijr020.

Authors: Olivera Simić, Kathleen Daly

Abstract:

On 15 July each year, Women in Black, an antimilitarist and feminist organization based in Belgrade, organize or participate in events in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark the anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica. In 2010, in collaboration with a number of artists, Women in Black blocked the main pedestrian mall in Belgrade and, under police protection, laid out about 500 pairs of shoes given to them by Serbian citizens. Each pair represented the life and death of a person killed in the massacre, and each carried a handwritten message from the person who gave it. We analyse the meaning and significance of this campaign as a civil society mechanism of accountability and moral reparations. Although criminal prosecutions for war crimes in the Balkans have been taking place for nearly two decades, they have not been able to address the conflicts and animosities that persist in the region. We argue that by participating in ‘One Pair of Shoes, One Life,’ Serbian citizens have begun to take steps towards publicly accepting responsibility for failing to prevent the crime of genocide perpetrated in their name.

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Genocide, Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2011

Local Memory Practices in East Timor: Disrupting Transitional Justice Narratives

Citation:

Kent, Lia. 2011. “Local Memory Practices in East Timor: Disrupting Transitional Justice Narratives.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 5 (3): 434–55. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijr016.

Author: Lia Kent

Abstract:

Transitional justice discourse is underpinned by an assumption that trials and truth commissions will assist individuals and societies to ‘come to terms’ with, and move on from, complex legacies of violence. This article considers how local practices of memorialization and commemoration, and the activities of victims’ groups in East Timor, disrupt these assumptions. It highlights how individuals and local communities in East Timor are attempting to ‘remake a world’ in ways that may differ markedly from the priorities of UN-sponsored transitional justice institutions and their nation's leaders. In addition, it explores how some survivors are embracing the language of victims’ rights to appeal to the state to respond to their experiences of suffering. These developments, which indicate that survivors are in various ways embracing, resisting and transforming ‘official’ justice discourses, highlight that the pursuit of justice in post-referendum East Timor is far more dynamic, locally grounded and open-ended than the narrative of transition implies.

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2011

Pages

© 2019 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 info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Transitional Justice