Evaluating the Gender Content of Reparations: Lessons from South Africa

Authored by: Beth Goldblatt

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Political Transitions, Transitional Justice
Country: South Africa
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2006
Citation: Goldblatt, Beth. "Evaluating the Gender Content of Reparations: Lessons from South Africa." In What Happened to the Women? Gender and Reparations for Human Rights Violations, edited by Ruth Rubio-Marín, 48-91. New York: Social Science Research Council, 2006.

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Executive Summary

There has been much policy and legislative work in South Africa to address the gender inequality that arose from pre-existing patriarchal structures and was compounded by apartheid. The difficulty facing society South Africa now is to implement these laws and address poverty (which is also gendered). Lack of resources, lack of official capacity and new social problems like HIV make this a huge task. South Africa is succeeding in certain respects, but the challenges remain massive. Some of the positive measures identi ed in South Africa, which might assist other post-transitional societies, and which can be conceptualized as either guarantees of nonrepetition (whether through institutional reform or otherwise) or as collective reparations for women, include: laws on prevention of domestic violence and rape; police and military sensitivity training; monitoring of enforcement agencies; improved social services for women, including health and termination of pregnancy services; measures to address women’s poverty, land rights, and economic opportunities; strong constitutional and equality protections for women.