The Gender of Reparations

Unsettling Sexual Hierarchies while Redressing Human Rights Violations

The Gender of Reparations

Reparations programs seeking to provide for victims of gross and systematic human rights violations are becoming an increasingly frequent feature of transitional and post-conflict processes. Given that women represent a very large proportion of the victims of these conflicts and authoritarianism, and that women arguably experience conflicts in a distinct manner, it makes sense to examine whether reparations programs can be designed to redress women more fairly and efficiently and seek to subvert gender hierarchies that often antecede the conflict. Focusing on themes such as reparations for victims of sexual and reproductive violence, reparations for children and other family members, as well as gendered understandings of monetary, symbolic, and collective reparations, The Gender of Reparations gathers information about how past or existing reparations projects dealt with gender issues, identifies best practices to the extent possible, and articulates innovative approaches and guidelines to the integration of a gender perspective in the design and implementation of reparations for victims of human rights violations.


“This book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the gendered implications of transition for women. It sets out to map and expose the gendered terrain of reparations, and exceeds its own ambitions in the process. It cogently demonstrates the varied dimensions of reparations and how the giving or exclusion of remedies for women is an integral part of their integration into societies experiencing change. Reparations are revealed as multifaceted and underutilised with detrimental effects for women. In exploring not only the limits of current conceptual and policy thinking but also different ways for conceiving repair the book demonstrates that without regard to reparation, transition is not transformation for women. The editing is outstanding and draws the essays together in a cohesive and well-knit whole. In telling us about reparation the book succeeds in doing far more, namely it re-conceives the notion of transition itself and the benefits it brings for women.”
--Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Dorsey and Whitney Chair in Law, University of Minnesota Law School and Director Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster.

“This book is a “must have” for anyone interested in women’s human rights or in reparation and justice issues. It looks at reparations and gender with a multidisciplinary approach and pulls together experts from several fields to consider gender based violence and ways to redress it, exploring past and innovative ways to provide reparations to the millions of victims of gender crimes worldwide. Rubio-Marin’s book is a very important and useful complement to her volume of case studies on the same topic, What Happened to the Women? Gender and Reparations for Human Rights Violations (SSRC 2006).”
--Kelly Askin, Senior Legal Officer, International Justice, Open Society Justice Initiative