False Dichotomies of Transitional Justice: Gender, Conflict and Combatants in Colombia

Authored by: Shana Tabak

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Political Transitions, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Transitional Justice
Country: Colombia
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Year: 2011
Citation: Tabak, Shana. "False Dichotomies of Transitional Justice: Gender, Conflict and Combatants in Colombia." NYU Journal of International Law & Politics 44 (2011): 103–63.

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Executive Summary

In this article, I argue that transitional justice and human rights mechanisms, despite the superficial respect and the attention paid to women’s groups and women’s needs, fail to reach true gender inclusiveness because they neglect to consider the multiple gendered roles that both men and women play in conflict and post-conflict. Furthermore, I claim that if scholars and practitioners examine transitional justice from a gendered lens, this perspective reveals not only crucial issues regarding the situation of women in conflict but sparks essential questions about the role of conflict in society that are instrumental to broader conversations about transitional justice. In this article, I briefly examine several post-conflict mechanisms in the context of Colombia, but I focus primarily on the theoretical importance of making this inquiry, the dangers of neglecting it, and the conclusion that examining closely the challenges in gender and transitional justice has the potential to teach us about and, indeed, perhaps prevent violent conflict.