Transitional Justice in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

7 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008

Date Written: July 17, 2008


Transitional justice concepts have hitherto paid little to no attention to gender as an important consideration in addressing sexual and gender-based violence after traumatic conflicts and wars. In this article, which was given at a Pan-African conference on Transitional Justice and Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Nairobi, Kenya, in July 2008, I explore the reasons for the invisibility of women and gender in transitional justice vehicles such as truth commissions and judicial and other adjudicatory processes. I argue that legal, political, cultural, and moral regimes must demarginalize women and gender at the national and international levels, including in the home to raise gender-sensitive progeny and to combat misogyny. I call for a concerted legal and political approaches and commitments on the part of families, states, civil society, intergovernmental organizations, and the market in both the public and private squares to put gender and women at the center of law and policy in general, and in transitional justice arrangements, in particular.

Keywords: transitional justice, sexual and gender-based violence, misogyny, truth commissions, wars, conflicts, victims, survivors

Suggested Citation

Mutua, Makau, Transitional Justice in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (July 17, 2008). Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-18, Available at SSRN:

Makau Mutua (Contact Author)

SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )

626 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716 645-2311 (Phone)

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