Recognizing the significant challenges facing women’s empowerment, this project examines how transitional justice processes have addressed women’s experiences in conflict and post-conflict recovery in Bosnia-Herzegovina and South Africa. This project argues that both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) failed to meet their mandates in prioritizing reconciliation for women because the ethnic divisions inherent in both conflicts were enshrined in the legal pursuits of both transitional justice processes. An ethnic framework prioritizes ethnic divisions over the unique and sensitive nature of gendered violence; excluding important challenges facing women such as victimization, patriarchy, stigma and discrimination. This comparative case study does not offer a panacea for ensuring full reintegration and reconciliation for female survivors of sexual violence, but aims to identify common challenges that may face future transitional justice processes.
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