Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm

Authored by: Julieta Lemaitre and Kristin B. Sandvik

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Political Transitions, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Transitional Justice
Country: Colombia
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Year: 2014
Citation: Lemaitre, Julieta, and Kristin B. Sandvik. "Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm." Feminist Legal Studies 22, no. 3 (2014): 243-61.

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Executive Summary

The growing literature on gender in armed conflict and the debates over post-conflict reparations for women, focus on the prevalence and harms of sexual violence. While this focus has recently been critiqued, there are few articulations of other types of gendered injuries. This article decentres the emphasis on sexual violence by examining the intersection between forced displacement and political insecurity. Based on extensive field research in Colombia, and using as an example a case study of an internally displaced women’s grassroots organization in Cartagena, Colombia, this article examines political insecurity as a specifically gendered harm. It reflects on the concrete circumstances of insecurity, on the relevance of traditional gender roles in the constitution of insecurity, and on the challenges for court-ordered remedies. This widening of the scope of attention also invites complex reflection on the possibility of transformative reparations in post-conflict situations.