Gender, peace-building and transitional justice in African contexts - Capacity Building

2013 Capacity Building Activities:

Winter School: "Gender, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice: Theory and Practice in Africa"

The African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town hosted from 2 - 6 September 2013 an intensive week-long residential course on “Gender, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice: Theory and Practice in Africa”. Participants were selected from senior-level professionals working in the field of gender, human rights and post-conflict transformation.  
This course explored the evolution of transitional justice mechanisms and analysed their successes and failures in addressing gender-based human rights violations on the continent. It encouraged an awareness of different theoretical and practical approaches to gender, transitional justice and peace-building, as well as fostered understanding of developments in transitional justice from African perspectives. The course further encouraged comparisons between different contexts in order to support a critical reading of the ways in which conflicts are gendered.  As such participants received a thorough theoretical introduction to issues of gender and transitional justice in the context of post-conflict transformations. The course combined lectures from leading experts in the field with small group discussions and simulations in order to facilitate the exchange of practical experience.  Participants also provided a short presentation based on their own experiences in the field.
Topics that were discussed include:
• Has the emphasis on sexual violence as the primary form of gender-based violations in transitional justice processes limited the field’s ability to deliver gender justice?
• Does truth have a gender?
• Can the International Criminal Court offer justice for victims of gender violations in Africa or has it failed to deliver?
• Can reparations be a substitute for truth-seeking and criminal justice if they provide substantive relief for the plight of victims of gender-based violations?
• To what extent have transitional justice intiatives sought to address gender-based violations perpetrated against men during conflict?
• Do processes such as Rwanda’s gacaca courts offer an effective means to address gender justice?
• To what extent do the UNSC resolutions on women, peace and security advance a conservative gender script which typecast women as victims in need of protection?