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TRCs

Irreconcilable Differences: Political Culture and Gender Violence during the Chilean Transition to Democracy

Citation:

Hiner, Hillary, and María José Azócar. 2015. “Irreconcilable Differences: Political Culture and Gender Violence during the Chilean Transition to Democracy.” Latin American Perspectives 42 (3): 52-72.

Authors: Hillary Hiner, María José Azócar

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The politics of national reconciliation during the transitional period of the 1990s in Chile constructed a hegemonic framework that affected discourses in other domains in multilayered ways. In order to achieve consensus among its various factions, the Concertación used "reconciliation" discourse to portray the nation as a family, and potentially divisive issues were framed in the most apolitical, ahistorical, and technical way. In this context, gender violence was construed as a matter of family and individual liberties, and the objective of the first family violence law was maintaining the family intact. The framework of reconciliation and its association with Christian forgiveness and family unity promoted the use of conciliation rather than sentencing as the primary means of settling domestic violence disputes and made it difficult for those affected by gender violence to achieve justice. However, the foundational discourses of the 1990s served an important purpose in opening up discursive spaces on gender violence that could be further refined. 
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Las políticas de reconciliación nacional durante el periodo de transición de los 1990 en Chile armaron un marco hegémonico que afectó el discurso en otros campos de múltiples maneras. Para lograr el consenso entre sus diferentes facciones, la Concertación usó el discurso de la "reconciliación" para describir la nación como una familia y los temas que pudieran suscitar discrepancias fueron enmarcados de la manera más apolítica, ahistórica y técnica. En este contexto, la violencia de género fue interpretada como una cuestión de libertades individuales y de la familia, y el objetivo de la primera ley sobre violencia familiar fue mantener a la familia unida. El marco de reconciliación y su asociación con el perdón cristiano y la unidad familiar promovieron el uso de la conciliación en lugar de la sanción penal como el medio principal para resolver las disputas de violencia doméstica. Esto hizo difícil que aquellas personas afectadas por la violencia de género recibieran justicia. Sin embargo, los discursos fundacionales de los 1990 sirvieron para abrir más espacios de discusión sobre la violencia de género, y ésto es algo que podría ser profundizado.

Keywords: gender violence, reconciliation, justice, memory, Chile

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, TRCs, Nationalism, Religion, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2015

Invisibilising the Victimised: Churches in Manicaland and Women's Experiences of Political Violence in National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe

Citation:

Manyonganise, Molly. 2017. "Invisibilising the Victimised: Churches in Manicaland and Women’s Experiences of Political Violence in National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe." Journal for the Study of Religion 30 (1): 110-36.

Author: Molly Manyonganise

Abstract:

Zimbabwe’s political history from 2000 to the present epoch has been characterized by violence. This violence reached its peak in 2008 when ZANU PF was defeated at the polls by the opposition party, MDC-T. The violence resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives while many more were maimed, displaced and/or sexually abused. In this context of political violence, various church groups emerged as the church in Zimbabwe broke its culture of silence and sought to condemn the deployment of divisive politics and the use of political violence as a means to political gain. One such group that emerged in 2000 is a forum of churches in the province of Manicaland called Churches in Manicaland (CiM). From the onset, CiM sought to bring healing to victims of political violence as well as reconciliation of communities in Manicaland through a number of activities. The 2008 political violence resulted in the signing of the Global Political Agreement in which the issue of national healing and reconciliation became officialised and critical national institutions (the church included) were implored to play their roles meaningfully. However, scholars on national healing and reconciliation have noted how gender is often not part of reconstruction processes in post-conflict nations. What this paper seeks to do is to evaluate CiM’s approach to gender in its participation in the national healing and reconciliation process in Zimbabwe, both at an unofficial level from 2000 and at the official level from 2008. Drawing on original empirical research (focus groups and interviews), the paper shows how CiM has adopted a general approach to the national healing and reconciliation process, which has made women’s experiences of political violence invisible. It is envisaged that this is one way of informing the church to bring to the ‘centre’ women’s experiences of political violence.

Keywords: women, womanist perspective, Churches in Manicaland, invisible, political violence, national healing, reconciliation, Churches in Manicaland

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2017

'Today, I Want to Speak Out the Truth': Victim Agency, Responsibility, and Transitional Justice

Citation:

Baines, Erin K. 2015. “‘Today, I Want to Speak Out the Truth’: Victim Agency, Responsibility, and Transitional Justice.” International Political Sociology 9 (4): 316–32.
 

Author: Erin K. Baines

Abstract:

In this article, I am concerned with the political agency available to victims of wartime violence, and the subsequent insights it generates for thinking about complicity and responsibility. The article first considers the problematic ways in which victims are cast in the discipline of transitional justice, drawing on interdisciplinary studies of gender, agency, and wartime violence. I conceptualize the political as relational and situated within a web of human relationships that make life meaningful. Political agency includes acts, gestures, and words that negotiate the value of human life within various relationships. To illustrate, I turn to the life story of Sara, a young woman who grew up in the context of prolonged conflict in northern Uganda. I conclude with thinking about how Sara’s acts of political agency move us beyond static categories of victims in transitional justice, and conceive of responsibility as diffuse and socially held.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2015

Female Combatants and the Post-Conflict Process in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Cullen, Laura C. 2020. "Female Combatants and the Post-Conflict Process in Sierra Leone." Journal of International Women's Studies 21 (2): 114-25.

Author: Laura C. Cullen

Abstract:

Women and girls had a specific and gendered experience of the civil war in Sierra Leone. They filled the role of combatants, ‘bush wives’, child soldiers, and sexual slaves. As a result of these roles, women are often described as having dual identities of both perpetrators and victims of violence. This duality resulted in the complex question of how to help these women both reintegrate into society and also address the crimes which they are alleged to have committed during the war. In this paper, I argue that these women and girls should be treated as victims due to the fact that their crimes were committed under coercion. I investigate the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process, performing a critique of its gendered assumptions and its inability to provide adequate assistance to females coerced into combat. I perform a critical analysis of the formation and efficacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). I investigate the Special Court’s treatment of the women and girls who were victims coerced into war and potentially held responsible as if they were perpetrators. In doing so, critical deconstruction of the treatment of these women highlights both the hybrid court’s successes and failures in advocating for these women. Throughout the paper, I explore the question of how the post-conflict reconstruction process should treat women and girls, who are victims but who have discursively been positioned also as perpetrators.

Keywords: female combatants, women combatants, Special Court for Sierra Leone, bush wives, DDR, child soldiers, post-conflict resolutions, international criminal justice, hybrid courts, gendered assumptions in the post-conflict process

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2020

Testimony Under Threat: Women’s Voices and the Pursuit of Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka

Citation:

Hoglund, Kristine. 2019. "Testimony Under Threat: Women’s Voices and the Pursuit of Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka." Human Rights Review 20: 361-82.

Author: Kristine Hoglund

Abstract:

This paper foregrounds how women’s public testimony as part of a formal transitional justice initiative is shaped by the particular context in which a commission operate, including the political and security environment. While the literature has engaged with the gendered predicaments of truth commissions after peace agreements and during transitions away from non-democratic rule, the function of such initiatives in more authoritarian and in immediate post-war contexts is generally overlooked. I examine women’s testimonies from Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and contend that pervasive militarization and insecurity, and the conduct of the Commission, influenced the stories that came forth. Women’s testimonies in the war-torn areas primarily represent pleas for information about missing family members and reflect important silences about the women’s own experiences of abuse, including ongoing post-war insecurities. The analysis raises questions about what may be expected from transitional justice efforts in difficult post-war contexts.

Keywords: gender, Sri Lanka, public testimony, LLRC, human rights, transitional justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Post-Conflict, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2019

Investigating Gender-Based Violence in Transitional Justice Context: The Case of Brazil

Citation:

Gabyshev, Vladimir, Galina Nelaeva, Natalia Sidorova, and Elena Khabarova. 2019. "Investigating Gender-Based Violence in Transitional Justice Context: The Case of Brazil." Latinskaia Amerika, no. 8, 35-46.

Authors: Vladimir Gabyshev, Galina Nelaeva, Natalia Sidorova, Elena Khabarova

Abstract:

The concept “transitional justice” is usually applied in the context of post-conflict resolution or transition from authoritarian regime to democracy. There is a whole range of various judicial and non-judicial mechanisms that are applied in the process of transitional justice that may include lustration, public apology, restitution of property, as well as formal judicial processes. Among the instruments of transitional justice are truth commissions (truth and reconciliation commissions). This article examines the activities of Brazilian National Truth Commission (2011) with a view to examine the gender dimension of its work. It is no secret that gender-based violence in the post-conflict settings often remains an overlooked phenomenon.

Keywords: transitional justice, truth and reconciliation commissions, gender-based violence, reconciliation

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Brazil

Year: 2019

Transitional Justice in South Africa and Brazil: Introducing a Gendered Approach to Reconciliation

Citation:

Nelaeva, Galina, and Natalia Sidorova. 2019. "Transitional Justice in South Africa and Brazil: Introducing a Gendered Approach to Reconciliation." BRICS Law Journal 6 (2): 82-107.

Authors: Galina Nelaeva, Natalia Sidorova

Abstract:

The concept of transitional justice has been associated with the periods of political change when a country emerges from a war or turmoil and attempts to address the wrongdoings of the past. Among various instruments of transitional justice, truth commissions stand out as an example of a non-judicial form of addressing the crimes of the past. While their setup and operation can be criticized on different grounds, including excessive politization of hearings and the virtual impossibility of meaningfully assessing their impact, it has been widely acknowledged in the literature that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa can be regarded as a success story due to its relatively strong mandate and widespread coverage and resonance it had in South African society. We would like to compare this commission from the 1990s with a more recent example, the Brazilian National Truth Commission, so as to be able to address the question of incorporation of gendered aspects in transitional justice (including examination of sexual violence cases, representation of women in truth-telling bodies, etc.), since gender often remains an overlooked and silenced aspect in such initiatives. Gendered narratives of transitional justice often do not fit into the wider narratives of post-war reconciliation. A more general question addressed in this research is whether the lack of formal procedure in truth commissions facilitates or hinders examination of sexual crimes in transitional settings.

Keywords: transitional justice, truth commissions, post-conflict resolution, gender-based violence, reconciliation

Topics: Gender, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America Countries: Brazil, South Africa

Year: 2019

Gender-Aware and Place-Based Transitional Justice in Guatemala: Altering the Opportunity Structures for Post-Conflict Women's Mobilization

Citation:

Destrooper, Tine, and Stephan Parmentier. 2018. "Gender-Aware and Place-Based Transitional Justice in Guatemala: Altering the Opportunity Structures for Post-Conflict Women's Mobilization." Social & Legal Studies 27 (3): 323-44.

Authors: Tine Destrooper, Stephan Parmentier

Abstract:

Place-based approaches to transitional justice, which foreground victim participation, have become increasingly popular in the last decade. The assumption is that these approaches enhance legitimacy, increase the local relevance of interventions, and empower victims. However, the causal mechanisms by which this alleged empowerment takes place, are not usually studied in great detail. This article examines whether altering the opportunity structures of (germinal) civil society organizations is one of the ways by which this empowering effect might take hold. The authors argue that in Guatemala, the transitional justice process, and in particular the truth commission, did indeed significantly alter the opportunity structures of grassroots indigenous women’s groups, most notably by providing these groups with support to develop their own agenda and with access to ‘elite allies’. Yet the fieldwork performed hitherto would also advise against treating localized and participatory approaches to transitional justice as a panacea, for even if a genuine bottom-up approach is promising, the ongoing institutionalization of the field of transitional justice makes adequate implementation of such an approach difficult; and especially in cases where victims face intersectional discrimination positive effects may be slow to materialize.

Keywords: civil society, Guatemala, localization, place-based interventions, 'transitional justice', women's movements

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2018

Gendering Tunisia's Transition: Transformative Gender Justice Outcomes in Times of Transitional Justice Turmoil?

Citation:

Ketelaars, Elise. 2018. "Gendering Tunisia's Transition: Transformative Gender Justice Outcomes in Times of Transitional Justice Turmoil?" The International Journal of Transitional Justice 12 (3): 407-26.

Author: Elise Ketelaars

Abstract:

In the summer of 2017 Tunisia achieved some notable victories in the field of women’s rights, while at the same time it witnessed the further backtracking of its already fragile transitional justice process. Though various analyses in local and international media have touched upon the current regime’s use of gender-friendly policies to cover up its otherwise illiberal agenda, few have considered what the consequences of these developments are for the advancement of gender justice in Tunisia. This article looks into this question, focusing specifically on the transformative potential of the activities of Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission. It uses these insights to feed into the feminist academic debate on ‘transformative justice.’ The Tunisian case study shows that reliance on technical innovations within traditional transitional justice mechanisms does not necessarily guarantee the pursuance of transformative justice outcomes which cross political divides.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Governance, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Tunisia

Year: 2018

The Emerging LGBTI Rights Challenge to Transitional Justice in Latin America

Citation:

Bueno-Hansen, Pascha. 2018. "The Emerging LGBTI Rights Challenge to Transitional Justice in Latin America." The International Journal of Transitional Justice 12 (1): 126-45.

Author: Pascha Bueno-Hansen

Abstract:

Latin American truth commissions have recently expanded their purview to include cases of violence against gender and sexual minorities as human rights violations worthy of investigation. This article proposes that grappling with this emerging LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights challenge requires a queer, intersectional and decolonial analytical lens that underscores the relevance of global LGBTI politics, and critiques transitional justice foundational assumptions regarding temporality and binary logics. In practical terms, this analytical lens enacts a double move by unearthing the deeply tangled and life-extinguishing roots of impunity surrounding violence against gender and sexual minorities while advocating for the realization of LGBTI people’s full citizenship.

Topics: Citizenship, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Justice, Impunity, Transitional Justice, TRCs, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2018

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