It is widely acknowledged that female victims experience authoritarian regimes and armed conflict in distinct ways. Similarly, women usually play a crucial role in the aftermath of violence such as:
Despite this, until recently there has been almost no factual information on the different needs of men and women regarding reparations, and almost no normative work on the difference a gender perspective would have on reparations.
This has made it exceedingly difficult to articulate arguments for gender-differentiated reparations measures and to influence emerging policies.
Truth commissions have become increasingly sensitive to gender issues—but they have not expressed this sensitivity in drafting reparations plans shaped by a deep understanding of the impact of reparations benefits on women.
ICTJ’s Gender and Reparations project explored ways of introducing a gender dimension into reparations programs, in order to maximize the potential redress for female victims and their families.
The project aimed to:
While one of the goals of a reparations program is to provide a measure of justice—albeit imperfect—to victims, reparations are also intimately tied to building a just and peaceful foundation for a transitioning society. A program that fails to provide redress or justice to women in effect undermines the link between the goals of reparations and establishing a democratic state.
The project commissioned six case studies on reparations for women in:
The project resulted in two publications: What Happened to the Women? Gender and Reparations for Human Rights Violations in 2006 and The Gender of Reparations: Unsettling Sexual Hierarchies While Redressing Human Rights Violations in 2009, both edited by Ruth Rubio-Marín.