Table of Contents

Handbook on Gender and War

Handbook on Gender and War

International Handbooks on Gender series

Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen

Gender and war are in many ways inextricably linked, and this path-breaking Handbook systematically examines the major issues surrounding this relationship. Each of its four sections covers a distinct phase of war: gender and opposition to war; gender and the conduct of war; gender and the impact of war; and gender and the aftermath of war. Original contributions from an international group of leading experts make use of a range of historical and contemporary examples to interrogate the multi-faceted connection between gender and war.

Chapter 24: Gender and transitional justice

Catherine O’Rourke

Subjects: politics and public policy, international politics, terrorism and security


Transitional justice refers to legal and quasi-legal mechanisms of accountability for widespread human rights violations in the aftermath of conflict or repression. Although a relatively new field of scholarship, gender has been a prominent sub-stream of transitional justice literature since the field’s inception, linked to broader demands for accountability for gender-based violence under international law. The key concerns of this body of gender and transitional justice scholarship have been the pursuit of accountability for specifically gendered harms, the inclusion of women in mechanisms of accountability, and increasing attention to the role of transitional justice in constructing ideal types of post-conflict masculinity and femininity. This chapter provides an introduction and overview to gender and transitional justice, focusing on the key lines of academic debate, as well as the key mechanisms of post-conflict transitional justice activity, namely prosecutions, truth recovery, reparations and institutional reform.

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