International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Can Reparations Help Fight Against Discrimination Against Women?


Reparations can be a transforming factor in transitional justice in that they recognize and legitimize the fundamental rights of victims while providing for their immediate needs. This article talks about a recent seminar, “Transformative Reparation for Women Victims of Armed Conflict”, held in Colombia. I found the topic of the seminar extremely interesting because it specifically focuses on the effect transformative reparations can have on women who have been victimized, frequently by sexual violence.

This reflects a positive direction in the efforts to integrate reparations as a part of transitional justice, while delving deeper to examine which reparations policy should be implemented depending on the context of victims. The article highlights that even though all reparations are to support and help victims, if they are not given without consideration of their situation, the reparations can be useless. For example, if lands are given as part of women victims’ reparations rights in a region where women are forbidden to own lands, the reparations are absolutely useless, and can create more frustration and bitterness for the victims.

The idea of providing different types of reparations according to each victims’ needs is not only necessary to legitimize rights of female victims, who often have been neglected, but also is ground-breaking in that it redefines the role of reparations in transitional justice. They are no longer tools just to meet victims’ immediate needs and recognize their suffering, but now can be used to examine and reveal unjust policies that often perpetuate the injustice that victims should no longer have to face.



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