The Gendered Geographies of Justice in Transition: A Feminist Geopolitics Perspective
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis paper explores the often-undervalued role of gender in transitional justice mechanisms and the importance of women's struggles and agency in that regard. We focus on the efforts of the women's movement in Guatemala to address questions of justice and healing for survivors of gendered violence during Guatemala's 36-year internal armed conflict. We show how the initial transitional justice measures visibilizing gender were taken up by the women’s movement, and how their endeavors to further visibilize sexual violence as a war crime committed in the context of a genocide have resulted in notable interventions in historical memory and justice. After the signing of Guatemala's 1996 peace accords, two truth commissions detailed the events of the internal armed conflict. Sexual violence was documented and analyzed in these transitional justice reports, which recognized the differentiated impacts of the conflict on men and women. In the subsequent fifteen years, sectors of the Guatemalan women's movement called for justice for survivors of sexual violence during the armed conflict. In their work with survivors, women's organizations have utilized the preliminary documentation of sexual violence in the truth commission reports to support and further their pursuit of justice. They have gone beyond the findings of these initial commissions to conduct a broader analysis of the violence committed against women in the conflict within a feminist framework. This struggle has opened an important space for dialogue in post-conflict Guatemala and seeks to ensure that women survivors will be rewarded some measure of justice and the opportunity of healing.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Interdisciplinary Studies and International Studies