Gender and Transitional Justice in Africa

Progress and Prospects

Authored by: Kelli Muddell and Helen Scanlon

Categories: Human Rights, Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Political Transitions, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Transitional Justice
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2009
Citation: Muddell, Kelli and Helen Scanlon. "Gender and Transitional Justice in Africa: Progress and Prospects." African Journal on Conflict Resolution 9, no. 2 (2009): 9-28.

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Executive Summary

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 non-judicial, 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.