Gender, Transitional Justice, and Displacement: Challenges in Africa’s Great Lakes Region

Lucy Hovil

Displacement is one of the most widespread and tangible consequences of conflict, and has been chronically high in Africa’s Great Lakes region by any standard. This paper focuses on three salient gender-specific dynamics of conflict and displacement in the region that need to be incorporated within any post-conflict reconstruction or transitional justice effort. First, the paper considers the implications of sexual and gender-based violence against women and men at all stages of displacement (prior to, during, and post displacement) and the implications for transitional justice mechanisms. Second, it looks at some of the gender-specific economic consequences of displacement and the subsequent search for durable solutions, focusing specifically on the challenges faced by women at the point of return and the relevance of gender specificities for any reparations or restitution programs. Finally, it considers the vulnerability of young men and their association with conflict, which affects their ability to safely repatriate within certain contexts.

Date published: 
8/7/2012