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TRCs

Have Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Helped Remediate Human Rights Violations Against Women? A Feminist Analysis of the Past and Formula for the Future

Citation:

Maisel, Margaret. 2011. “Have Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Helped Remediate Human Rights Violations Against Women? A Feminist Analysis of the Past and Formula for the Future.” Cardozo Journal of International & Contemporary Law 20 (143): 143-84.

Author: Margaret Maisel

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2011

Remembering Violence, Negotiating Change: The Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission and the Politics of Gender

Citation:

Dennerlein, Bettina. 2012. “Remembering Violence, Negotiating Change: The Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission and the Politics of Gender.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 8 (1): 10-36.

Author: Bettina Dennerlein

Abstract:

This paper focuses on competing appropriations of international women's rights standards in the framework of the Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission (ERC) and its follow-up projects. I argue that, even if the ERC's gender approach has been introduced as part of international models of transitional justice, it is geared toward earlier women's rights and human rights activism, as well as to established state practices of at least selectively supporting women's rights. Like political reform in general, the ERC and its gender approach are an outcome of internal, long-time dynamics of change. Within the ERC's politics of gender, there exists a tendency to depoliticize women's rights activism in the process of reconciliation by making women a target for welfare measures and "human development." Yet, at the same time, the officially recognized gender approach also allows for strategies to broaden the basis for women's rights activism by making women's experiences of violence during the "Years of Lead" (the period of fierce repression under the rule of Hassan II), an issue of concern in the framework of its new politics of memory. The implementation of the ERC's gender approach can be interpreted as an example of how women's rights activism may be able to push its agenda while adjusting to both transnational discourses and national politics.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Morocco

Year: 2012

Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict: Notes from the Field

Citation:

Teale, Lotta. 2009. “Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Sierra Leone Conflict: Notes from the Field.” African Journal on Conflict Resolution 9 (2): 69-90.

Author: Lotta Teale

Abstract:

Sierra Leone’s transition has witnessed a number of landmark procedural and legal innovations which have had widespread implications for international gender justice. The 11-year conflict had shattered the country, leaving more than a million people displaced and thousands of women coping with the aftermath of sexual violence. Then, in 1999, the Lomé Peace Accord in 1999 traded amnesty for peace and made provision for the establishment of the Sierra Leone Truth Commission. The United Nations Security Council subsequently established a Special Court to prosecute those who bore ‘the greatest responsibility’ for atrocities committed during the conflict. However, while both the Truth Commission and the Special Court made some unique strides in promoting gender justice, the perception among gender activists is that both initiatives fell short in addressing the country’s gender-based human rights violations. Questions abound over the real impact of the Special Court, not least because there are issues over how much justice victims achieve through the prosecution of only those with command responsibility. Although the Truth Commission had a more far-reaching ambit and did confront some aspects of the country’s gendered past, its long-term impact has yet to be realised and its gender-sensitive recommendations have yet to be implemented. This article will assess Sierra Leone’s transition through an analysis of its successes and failures in addressing gender-based violations committed during the conflict and will examine how far gender justice has been achieved.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Gender and Transitional Justice in Africa: Progress and Prospects

Citation:

Scanlon, Helen, and Kelli Muddell. 2009. “Gender and Transitional Justice in Africa: Progress and Prospects.” African Journal on Conflict Resolution 9 (2): 9-28.

Authors: Helen Scanlon , Kelli Muddell

Abstract:

During the past few decades, different models of transitional justice (TJ) have developed throughout Africa to try to address the mass human rights abuses that have occurred during conflicts. These mechanisms, both judicial and nonjudicial, have often failed to adequately tackle the extensive gender-based violence that has been prevalent on the continent. This article examines the ways truth commissions, legal mechanisms, reparations, security sector reform efforts, and traditional mechanisms in Africa have dealt with gender-based human rights violations. While recent African TJ mechanisms have been innovative in developing means to address crimes against women, these mechanisms continue to fail victims. This is in large part because the current discourse on gender and transitional justice needs to be broadened to better address women’s experiences of conflict. Future TJ initiatives need to re-examine the types of violations prioritised, and recognise the continuum of violence that exists in pre-conflict and post-conflict societies. It is also important to challenge the transitional justice field to stop reducing sexual-based violence to ‘women’s problems’, and explore how men are affected by the gendered dynamics of conflict.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa

Year: 2009

Narrative and Truth: a Feminist Critique of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Citation:

Kashyap, Rina. 2009. Narrative and Truth: A Feminist Critique of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Contemporary Justice Review 12 (4): 449-467.

Author: Rina Kashyap

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Race Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2009

‘Other Inhumane Acts’: Forced Marriage, Girl Soldiers and the Special Court for Sierra Leone

Citation:

Park, Augustine S. J. 2006. “‘Other Inhumane Acts’: Forced Marriage, Girl Soldiers and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.” Social & Legal Studies 15 (3): 315–37.

 

Author: Augustine S. J. Park

Abstract:

The decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone gained international notoriety for the widespread use of child soldiers, and the sexual abuse and ‘forced’ marriage of girl soldiers. For the first time in international legal history, ‘forced marriage’ is being prosecuted as a ‘crime against humanity’ in Sierra Leone’s post-conflict ‘Special Court’. This represents an important step in advancing the human rights of girls, and follows a growing trend in international criminal prosecution of gender offences. Notwithstanding the significance of this indictment, international law is no panacea for the deeper inequalities and vulnerabilities that girls experience in peacetime and in wartime. This article advocates a specific focus on girls, who are often ‘disappeared’ under discourses of children and women. Moreover, using recommendations from Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this article attempts to point to social and economic inequalities that must be addressed alongside criminal prosecution of gendered crimes against humanity.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Gender, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2006

Gendered Peace: Women’s Struggles for Post-War Justice and Reconciliation

Citation:

Pankhurst, Donna. 2007. Gendered Peace: Women’s Struggles for Post-War Justice and Reconciliation. Oxon: Routledge.

Author: Donna Pankhurst

Abstract:

This volume contributes to the growing literature on women, conflict and peacebuilding by focusing on the moments after a peace accord, or some other official ending of a conflict, often denoted as ‘post-conflict’ or ‘post-war’. Such moments often herald great hope for holding to account those who committed grave wrongs during the conflict, and for a better life in the future. For many women, both of these hopes are often very quickly shattered in starkly different ways to the hopes of men. Such periods are often characterized by violence and insecurities, and the official ending of a war often fails to bring freedom from sexual violence for many women. Within such a context, efforts on the part of women, and those made on their behalf, to hold to account those who commit crimes against them, and to access their rights are difficult to make, are often dangerous, and are also often deployed with little effect. Gendered Peace explores international contexts, and a variety of local ones, in which such struggles take place, and evaluates their progress. The volume highlights the surprising success in the development of international legal advances for women, but contrasts this with the actual experience of women in cases from Sierra Leone, Rwanda, South Africa, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, East Timor, Peru, Central America and the Balkans. (Amazon)

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, International Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, TRCs, War Crimes, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual Violence

Year: 2007

Gender, Truth & Transition

Citation:

Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala, and Catherine Turner. 2007. “Gender, Truth & Transition.” UCLA Women’s Law Journal 16 (2): 229-79.

Authors: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Catherine Turner

Abstract:

This article introduces the role and function of truth commission and explores a number of the structural and institutional components which profoundly affect women's experiences of accountability in times of transition.

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict

Year: 2007

Making the Invisible War Crime Visible: Post-Conflict Justice for Sierra Leone’s Rape Victims

Citation:

Nowrojee, Binaifer. 2005. “Making the Invisible War Crime Visible: Post-Conflict Justice for Sierra Leone’s Rape Victims.” Harvard Human Rights Journal 18: 85-105.

Author: Binaifer Nowrojee

Abstract:

When the civil war in Sierra Leone came to an end in 2002, the international community created two transitional justice mechanisms to address past atrocities: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (“TRC”) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Little attention has been paid in the international community or in the scholarly literature to the efforts made by these institutions to address and redress the wartime sexual violence routinely directed at women and girls. The two institutions in Sierra Leone are noteworthy for seriously undertaking to fulfill their mandate to address crimes against women and for using gender-sensitive strategies to ensure the comfort, safety, and dignity of the rape victims coming forward to testify. While this should be standard operating practice for international institutions, the practices of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals and other transitional justice mechanisms illustrate the unfortunate fact that gender justice often remains the exception rather than the rule in post-conflict societies. Additionally, Sierra Leone represents one of the only places in which the international community has set up both a truth commission and a court in a post-conflict setting; utilizing both institutions concurrently has already produced both positive and negative effects for Sierra Leone, raising crucial questions and setting important precedents for future conflict resolution scenarios. Although the ultimate success of these two international justice mechanisms in the particular arena of gender justice in Sierra Leone remains to be seen, the steps taken so far are encouraging. Together, they can provide a “best practices” model for other international justice mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court. Sexual violence has been an invisible war crime in a wide variety of contemporary conflicts and mass atrocities; inclusion of gender violence in the post-conflict world of international justice can help to condemn these horrors and to make the perpetrators accountable for the particularly brutal violence perpetrated against women in wartime.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, International Organizations, Justice, TRCs, War Crimes, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2005

Learning to Love after Learning to Harm: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Gender Equality and Cultural Values

Citation:

Andrews, Penelope E. 2007. “Learning to Love after Learning to Harm: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Gender Equality and Cultural Values.” Michigan State Journal of International Law 15 (1): 41–62.

Author: Penelope E. Andrews

Abstract:

The question that the Jacob Zuma rape trial and its aftermath raised was how a country like South Africa, with such a wonderful Constitution and expansive Bill of Rights, could generate such negative and retrogressive attitudes towards women. In line with this inquiry, this article raises three issues: The first focuses on the legacy of apartheid violence and specifically the cultures of masculinity, the underbelly of apartheid violence. Second, the article explores the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a vital part of the post-apartheid  transformation agenda, to examine how the TRC pursued violations of women's human rights. The third part of the analysis is an examination of the last twelve years of constitutional transformation in South Africa, and particularly the pursuit of gender equality and the eradication of violence against women.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Governance, Constitutions, Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

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