Type: Contribution to book
The gender of reparations in transitional societies
Ruth RUBIO-MARIN (ed.), The gender of reparations : unsettling sexual hierarchies while redressing human rights violations, New York : Cambridge University Press, pp. 63-120
RUBIO MARIN, Ruth, The gender of reparations in transitional societies, in Ruth RUBIO-MARIN (ed.), The gender of reparations : unsettling sexual hierarchies while redressing human rights violations, New York : Cambridge University Press, pp. 63-120 - http://hdl.handle.net/1814/74830
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
It has become a commonplace that one of the necessary elements to “engender” reparations is to include sexual violence in the list of crimes that are considered grave violations of human rights and, as such, deserve reparations. This entails departing from tradition, as most reparations efforts in the past have concentrated on violations of a fairly limited and traditionally conceived catalogue of civil and political rights including illegal detention, torture, summary execution, and disappearances. In fact, the one single most organized and well-documented (though still largely unsuccessful) movement for reparations for women is that of the so-called “comfort women,” namely, approximately 200,000 women from across Asia who were enslaved by and for the Japanese military during Japan’s World-War-II colonial period, some forcefully taken from their homes and homelands to be raped daily by soldiers. There is, however, a growing sense that including sexual violence among the violations deserving reparations is not all there is at stake, and that concerns with gender justice should somehow be “mainstreamed” in the discussions and design of reparations. The question, then, is what exactly this task entails. This chapter is a contribution to this much-needed conversation. It focuses on large-scale reparations programs rather than on (either national or international) judicially adjudicated reparations because the former are becoming an increasingly common form of handling reparations in the context of massive violations of human rights. Its aim is to flesh out the potential of large-scale reparations programs in transitional democracies for recognizing and redressing women victims of human rights abuses. It also provides insight about the transformative potential of reparations, namely, the potential of such reparative efforts to subvert, instead of reinforce, preexisting structural gender inequalities and thereby to contribute, however minimally, to the consolidation of more inclusive democratic regimes. Finally, in an attempt to underscore the need to conceptually broaden the gender and reparations agenda to include men, the chapter contains some incipient insight about how patterns and notions of masculinity might interfere either with the assessment of the harms that men are subject to during times of repression and conflict or with their possibilities for redress.
Cadmus permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/74830
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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