Transitional Justice as a Tool for the Political and Legal Recognition of Women's Rights in the Post-Conflict State
Despite an increasing recognition of the effect of conflict on women, gender justice mandates are often not included in transitional justice mechanisms. When gender justice mandates are included, transitional justice mechanisms may serve as a model for the introduction or reform of institutions, such as the domestic legal system, that reinforce womens rights in states where recognition of women's rights has not historically been a priority. As evidence for the argument that transitional justice can play an important role in reinforcing these legal and political structures in post-conflict states that are historically patriarchal, I examine the case study of Liberia. Extensive efforts were made by Liberias Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to include womens testimony and to encourage participation from rural women. These efforts resulted in the TRCs recommendation of reparations that were based on input from women across Liberia and which recognized the need for womens political participation and legal recognition of their rights. The conclusion reached is that, in the case of Liberia, it is difficult to determine the direct impact of truth commission recommendations. Nevertheless, this paper argues that truth commissions are an important facet of post-conflict statebuilding, and that recommendations may serve to reinforce the importance of the implementation of human rights-based government policy. This paper adds to the existing transitional justice literature by examining the impact of transitional justice on the development of state institutions that integrate women and put into practice laws that reinforce womens rights.
30 Nov -0001
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