Gender Under-Enforcement in the Transitional Justice

Authored by: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Political Transitions, Transitional Justice
Region: No Region
Year: 2012
Citation: Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala. "Gender Under-Enforcement in the Transitional Justice." In Gender in Transitional Justice, edited by Susanne Buckley-Zistel and Ruth Stanley, 59–87. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

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Executive Summary

The transitional justice field has been, throughout its relatively short development phase, de facto exclusionary to the issues and concerns of women. This is not to say that the broad issues that have dominated the field have not influenced women’s lives (Bell, 2009a). Such core aspects of transitional justice’s domain as criminal accountability, restorative justice, reconciliation, amnesty, and lustration invariably affect women individually and as a group. Nor has the impact of transitional justice been uniformly negative. For example, greater emphasis on, and attention to, criminal accountability for systematic human rights violations has also addressed some of the harms experienced by women and is a positive development (Askin, 2009). There is increased recognition, however, that, in its broadest sense, the discourse and the practice of transitional justice has failed to take into account the unique needs and issues that women face in conflicted and repressive societies (Bell et al., 2004; 2007). Encouragingly, there has been a growing literature and practice that recognizes the gendered lacunae of transitional justice theory and practice, and identifies pragmatic and transformative routes forward.