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TRCs

Sexual Violence against Women in Armed Conflicts: Standard Responses and New Ideas

Citation:

Zinsstag, Estelle. 2006. “Sexual Violence against Women in Armed Conflicts: Standard Responses and New Ideas.” Social Policy and Society 5 (1): 137–48.

Author: Estelle Zinsstag

Abstract:

This article aims to assess ways in which different justice schemes may operate together for an improved legal and political response to victims of sexual crimes in the aftermath of armed conflicts. The article will briefly present the problem of sexual violence against women in armed conflict. It will then consider the evolution of criminal justice in regard to this crime, the results of recent attempts to implement truth and reconciliation processes, as well as briefly assess reparation schemes. Finally it will suggest a series of measures for coordinating the various schemes of justice in a way that guarantees women’s rights in the aftermath of a conflict.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Reparations, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women

Year: 2006

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Wartime Sexual Violence in Guatemala and Peru*

Citation:

Leiby, Michele L. 2009. “Wartime Sexual Violence in Guatemala and Peru*.” International Studies Quarterly 53 (2): 445–68.

Author: Michele L. Leiby

Abstract:

This article is a comparative analysis of sexual violence perpetrated by state armed forces during the Guatemalan and Peruvian civil wars. Focusing on the type of violation and the context in which it occurs provides new insights into the motives behind its use in war. It introduces a new data set on sexual violence compiled from truth commission documents and nongovernmental human rights organizations’ reports. The data reveal that members of the state armed forces perpetrated the majority of sexual violations, that rape and gang rape are the most frequent but not the only abuses committed, and that women are the overwhelming majority of victims of sexual violence. Aggregate patterns suggest that state authorities must have known of mass sexual abuse and failed to act in accordance with international law. Moreover, some evidence suggests sexual violence is used as a weapon of war. However, mono-causal models cannot sufficiently account for the variation and complexity in its use. Even within the same conflict, sexual violence can serve multiple functions in different contexts and at different points in time.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, International Law, Justice, TRCs, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Guatemala, Peru

Year: 2009

Gender in Transition: Common Sense, Women, and War

Citation:

Theidon, Kimberly. 2007. “Gender in Transition: Common Sense, Women, and War.” Journal of Human Rights 6 (4): 453–78.

Author: Kimberly Theidon

Abstract:

On August 28, 2003, the Commissioners of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (PTRC) submitted their Final Report to President Alejandro Toledo and the nation, thus joining the growing list of countries that have implemented truth commissions as a means of transitioning from a period of armed conflict and authoritarian rule towards the founding of a procedural democracy. The PTRC shared several features with the Guatemalan and South African commissions that preceded it. All three commissions were considered “gender sensitive” because they actively sought out women’s experiences of violence. This focus reflected the desire to write more “inclusive truths,” as well as changes in international jurisprudence. In this paper, the author draws upon research she has conducted since 1995 in Peru to explore the commissioning of truth and some implications in terms of women and war. She examines what constitutes “gender sensitive” research strategies, as well as the ways in which truth commissions have incorporated these strategies into their work. Truth and memory are indeed gendered, but not in any common-sensical way. Thus the author hopes to offer a more nuanced understanding of the gendered dimensions of war.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, International Law, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Guatemala, Peru

Year: 2007

The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Treatment of Sexual Violence Against Women

Citation:

Mantilla Falcón, Julissa. 2005. “The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Treatment of Sexual Violence Against Women.” Human Rights Brief 12 (2): 1–4.

Author: Julissa Mantilla Falcón

Abstract:

Sexual violence against women is an expression of gender- based violence that affects thousands of women around the world during times of armed conflict, as well as in times of peace. Impunity and silence typically surround these cases.

Many times, victims do not discuss what happened to them because of feelings of shame and guilt. In most cases, government authorities and some sectors of civil society do not consider sexual violence to be a human rights violation. Fortunately, international human rights instruments and judicial decisions have begun to define sexual violence as a violation of human rights and, in some contexts, as a crime against humanity or a war crime.

The work of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (PTRC) made important inroads in identifying sex- ual violence as a human rights violation. In its Final Report, the PTRC analyzed the situation of Peruvian women subjected to sexual violence during the armed conflict and countered the idea that it was simply a collateral damage of war. Asserting that sexual violence is a human rights violation, the PTRC established a record of the sexual violence that occurred during Peru’s 20 year armed conflict and recommended that the State institute a system of reparations for the victims.

The Final Report of the PTRC, released on August 28, 2003, includes a chapter on sexual violence against women. This article presents its main findings.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Impunity, Reparations, TRCs, War Crimes, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2005

Women as Political Participants: Psychosocial Post conflict Recovery in Peru

Citation:

Laplante, Lisa. 2007. “Women as Political Participants: Psychosocial Post Conflict Recovery in Peru.” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 13 (3): 313–31.

Author: Lisa Laplante

Abstract:

This article presents preliminary findings on the effectiveness of postconflict recovery strategies, one of which is political activism. I describe Peru's experience to illustrate how mental health professionals adopt a more holistic view of psychosocial healing within the reparations framework established by Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I then illustrate how this model meets the particular needs of women who survived the conflict and are now reclaiming their mental well-being through political activism. The short-term evaluation of this approach reveals that it benefits this population both through raising their self-esteem and by involving them in policy decisions that directly affect their lives.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Health, Mental Health, Justice, TRCs, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2007

Dealing with the Aftermath: Sexual Violence and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Citation:

Goldblatt, Beth, and Sheila Meintjes. 1997. “Dealing with the Aftermath: Sexual Violence and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” Agenda, no. 36, 7–18.

Authors: Beth Goldblatt, Sheila Meintjes

Abstract:

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has completed its task of holding human rights violation hearings. Thousands of people have faced the Commission and the nation to tell their stories and air their pain. Many, who have listened to this testimony for the past two years, will understandably believe that the story of our past has now been completely told. It has not - violence against women is one of the hidden sides to the story of our past. While certain women bravely recorded their experiences, many others have not been able to come before the TRC. This has implications not only for our understanding of our history but also for current attempts to heal our society. In this article we suggest that past and present violence against women is located on a continuum. The process of rebuilding our society involves helping women survivors to deal with their trauma. The process of creating a new society based on human rights and justice demands serious efforts to create a society where women are free from fear and able to participate fully as citizens of the society. This article first examines the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in dealing with the issue of sexual violence against women and the evidence that did and did not emerge. The article then tries to explore the relationship between political and other sexual violence and the relationship between public and private violence. This leads us towards a preliminary understanding of the gendered nature of South African society both during and in the aftermath of apartheid. Finally, the article proposes certain reparation measures as the means to ensure positive social reconstruction. These must go hand-in- hand with state action to protect women's safety in terms of rights in the Bill of Rights, such as the right to bodily integrity and the right to citizenship. Such rights must however, be asserted and given content by women's organisations and others committed to gender equality.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, TRCs, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1997

The Peruvian Truth Commission's Mental Health Reparations: Empowering Survivors of Political Violence to Impact Public Health Policy

Citation:

Laplante, Lisa, and Miryam Rivera Holguin. 2006. “The Peruvian Truth Commission’s Mental Health Reparations: Empowering Survivors of Political Violence to Impact Public Health Policy.” Health and Human Rights 9 (2): 136–63.

Authors: Lisa Laplante, Miryam Rivera Holguin

Abstract:

The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), formed in 2001, turned national attention toward the serious mental health consequences of the country's 20-year internal armed conflict. The TRC prioritized reparations in mental health, using a legal justification that provided victims-survivors of the war with a rights-based framework for demanding that the public sector attend to their mental health needs. Since the majority of victims-survivors come from historically poor, rural, and marginalized populations and have tended to not exercise their right to health for a variety of social, economic, and cultural reasons, framing mental health in terms of rights helps to empower these people to impact the development of appropriate policies in mental health. The authors suggest that this process contributes directly to improving the mental health of this population.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Gender, Health, Mental Health, Justice, Reparations, TRCs, Post-Conflict, Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2006

Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions

Citation:

Hayner, Priscilla B. 2010. Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions. Oxford: Routledge.

Author: Priscilla B. Hayner

Topics: Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice, TRCs

Year: 2010

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