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  • Author: Agatha Ndonga, Kelli Muddell
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
  • Abstract: In its primary findings, Kenya's Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission noted that women and girls have been subject to systematic, state-sanctioned discrimination in all spheres of their lives, and that the state has failed to take measures to end the practices that restrict women’s political involvement. This paper highlights the need to overcome the political challenges Kenyan women face: their exclusion from political life, the continued violence against them during electoral contests, and their inability to rise to leadership positions in the country.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues, Elections, Gender Based Violence , Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Dereje Feyissa
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Violence against Women (VAW) is among the human rights violations that women face globally every day. The roots of VAW lie in historically unequal power relations between men and women and pervasive discrimination against women in both the public and private spheres. VAW is a global phenomenon that is not limited to certain cultures or countries. However, the form it takes is context-specific. In Ethiopia VAW is pervasive, occurring at three levels as identified by the UN: family; community; and the state. Despite policy pronouncements and the implementation of some practical measures, VAW is still prevalent in Ethiopia. This new Working Paper by Dereje Feyissa, adjunct associate professor, Addis Ababa University, offers a political interpretation to explain the gap between policy and practice on VAW in Ethiopia. Specifically, it argues that the gap between policy and practice lies in the type of regime in Ethiopia, which has undermined the political will and limited the space for gender activism. Historically, this has been evident ideologically (the Marxist frame of the ‘women question’ and the vanguardism connected with it), but also in respect to political legitimacy (ethnic federalism and the priority given to cultural rights), entrenched authoritarianism and the limited space available for gender activism by women’s right groups. The Working Paper is published as part of the international research programme GLOW – Global Norms and Violence Against Women in Ethiopia – financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Organization, Poverty, Women, Inequality, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Garcia Isabella
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: In 2018/2019 the CGPE launched an annual Gender & Global Political Economy Undergraduate Essay Prize competition, open to all undergraduate students within the School of Global Studies. The winner of the 2018/2019 competition is Isabella Garcia for the essay “How do global supply chains exacerbate gender-based violence against women in the Global South?” Isabella graduated with a BA in International Relations and Development in July and will join the MA cohort in our Global Political Economy programme for 2019/2020. Given the very strong field of submissions, the award committee further decided to award a second-place prize to Yume Tamiya for the essay “Does the rise of the middle class disguise existing inequalities in Brazil?”. Yume graduated with a BA in International Development with International Education and Development. We are delighted to publish both of these excellent essays in the CGPE Working Paper series.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Women, Gender Based Violence , Global South
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Doris H. Gray
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
  • Abstract: This report focuses on “indirect victims” of human rights violations in Tunisia, namely, the wives, sisters, and children of political prisoners in Tunisia, who suffered discrimination, social exclusion, police violence, and harassment as a result of their relatives’ incarceration during the dictatorship, as well as mothers of the martyrs. Though they may not have suffered incarceration, physical torture, or even death like their relatives, these victims were persecuted and discriminated against and experienced severe economic hardship and isolation after a family member was detained for political and/or religious activities. They were dismissed from work, expelled from school, and/or subjected to random police searches and harassment. Some women fled the country to escape a painful life of isolation and harassment, in many cases with their children, carrying nothing but the clothes on their back. Until now, there has been no substantive, systematic study of these victims, who suffered economic blacklisting, denial of due process, as well as other social and economic rights violations. The aim of this report is to shed light on this population of victims that is often overlooked or silenced in the process of transitional justice and post-uprising nation building. Accurate data on the number of people who were detained for political reasons during Tunisia’s dictatorship period (1955–2011), including women activists, has been nearly impossible to collect. What is known is that the immediate and extended family members of these prisoners, who also suffered human rights abuses, continue to live with the consequences of those violations today. Their fate raises important questions in the human rights discourse because the violations they suffered do not fit neatly within typical human rights narratives, which tend to prioritize civil and political violations and violations of physical integrity. The findings in this report are based on extensive interviews conducted with more than 250 women family members of detainees and mothers of martyrs from nine regions and Tunis in July, August, and December 2017. For many victims, the most pervasive and sustained consequences of the human rights violations they suffered have been the break-down of the family and lost confidence in the judicial and political system, coupled with the sowing of mistrust among family members and communities who feel betrayed. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, families are the building blocks of a society; thus, the destruction of the family unit has serious consequences for individuals and society. In most cases, the forced separation of family members—wives from husbands, mothers and fathers from sons and daughters—has led to permanent estrangement or domestic strife. For example, when husbands were incarcerated, the pressure on their wives was sometimes so great that they were compelled to give their children away to be raised by members of their extended family. Further, women who had not previously worked outside the home or who lost their job as a result of being related to an “enemy of the state” had to generate an income and/or depend heavily on the financial and social support of relatives. Women relatives of political prisoners were also harassed by Tunisia’s system of pointage (which required the relatives of prisoners to report daily to different police stations) and having to travel long distances to deliver couffins (traditional baskets) containing food, clothing, blankets, and/or medicine to their incarcerated relatives, who were often relocated to far-away prisons to increase the burden on families. Many women experienced sexual harassment and violence, sometimes at the hands of police officers during their pointage-mandated check-ins, other times by neighbors or others in the community who took advantage of their heightened vulnerability in the absence of male family members. This type of harassment and violence further enhanced these victims’ sense of shame, estrangement, and self-loathing, especially considering the highly conservative religious communities most lived in. Detainees, once released from prison, were often incapable of resuming their normal family relationships with their loved ones, returning from torture chambers to their homes. An inability to engage in healthy marital relations led, in some cases, to violent interactions with their family members. Though many wives, sisters, and mothers feel a need to stand by their persecuted men, interviews revealed that some children resent their father’s political choices, which they blame for destroying their hope for a decent life. In some cases, women were even forced by their family to divorce their husband while he was in prison and marry a man from the police or security forces, in order to lift the weight of alienation and harassment from the extended family. It is essential that this array of consequences be examined in a systematic way, in order to begin to understand the full impact of the state’s willful destruction of families on indirect victims. Many Tunisians have spent a majority of their life living under repressive rule, and from interviews, it seems clear that some of the effects of such a life have not only persisted for the women but in some cases have transferred to their families. The deeply entrenched and justifiable lack of trust in state institutions expressed in interviews with victims (both direct and indirect) can only be repaired with efforts on the part of the state to highlight the human rights violations experienced, address the needs of victims and ensure non-repetition. After the 2011 revolution, Tunisia embarked on a process to address past human rights violations under the comprehensive framework established by the Organic Law on Establishing and Organizing Transitional Justice. The process has faced numerous challenges, including a difficult political terrain, and victims have expressed frustration with the lack of results. The Truth and Dignity Commission was plagued by internal divisions, while the Specialized Chambers has faced slow implementation. The other elements included in the law – reparations, memorialization and institutional reform – are still forthcoming. This report offers documentation and analysis that aims to enhance the current understanding of the experiences of this population of victims. It underscores the importance of actively involving victims in the process of societal transformation. The transitional justice process in Tunisia must recognize the experiences of indirect victims and seek to address the consequences of the violations they faced. This report highlights that this goes beyond ensuring their participation in the process, which is important, to contributing to their ability to exercise agency in their lives and make
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Gender Based Violence , Transitional Justice, Victims
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Simone Lombardini
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2016/17, selected for review under the women’s empowerment thematic area. The evaluation took place in November 2016 in Tunisia, and intended to evaluate the success of the ‘AMAL: Supporting Women’s Transformative Leadership’ project in increasing women’s empowerment. The project ‘AMAL: Supporting Women’s Transformative Leadership’ is a multi-country programme operating in Morocco, Tunisia, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Yemen, with regional coordination from Lebanon. The results coming from this Effectiveness Review are not meant to be indicative of the overall impact of AMAL, but more a focused assessment for the Tunisia component. The AMAL project operating in Tunisia started in 2012, following the revolution of 2011, with the objective to increase women’s awareness of their political and socio-economic rights, and support women to play a more active role in the political and socio-economic life of their community and country.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Gender Based Violence , Feminism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Bukola Adeyemi Oyeniyi
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: Using testimonies of child soldiers and amputees from Sierra Leone, accounts from survivors of the Rwandan genocide, and recollections of survivors of rape and sexual violence from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this essay explores the intersection between pain, its recollection, and post-conflict recovery in Africa. Between 1991 and 2002, unprecedented violence gripped Sierra Leone, leading to the death of an estimated 50,000 people. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up after the civil war reported that a rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), orchestrated “indiscriminate amputations, abduction of women and children, recruitment of children as combatants, rape and sexual slavery, cannibalism, gratuitous killings, and wanton destruction of villages and towns” against ethnic groups believed to be loyal to President Joseph Saidu Momoh and the All People’s Congress (APC), the party that had ruled Sierra Leone since 1968
  • Topic: Children, Gender Based Violence , Conflict, Sexual Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Gavin Stedman-Bryce
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2015/16, selected for review under the women’s empowerment thematic area. This report documents the findings of an impact evaluation, carried out in January 2016. The purpose of the evaluation was to rigorously assess the effectiveness of the Raising Her Voice project in South Africa (RHV-SA), in terms of its contribution to greater women’s empowerment. Usually, evaluations under this thematic area are evaluated using quasi-experimental impact evaluation techniques. In this case, given the characteristics of the project, a different impact evaluation technique has been applied, called process tracing. Where interventions have small sample sizes for evaluators to draw from (referred to as small ‘n’ evaluations), this can make it difficult to adopt traditional counterfactual approaches to establishing causality for a range of technical and practical reasons. This is a situation typically faced in projects under Oxfam’s Good Governance outcome area (previously known as Citizen Voice and Policy Influencing). Evaluations of interventions under this outcome area are concerned with establishing whether or not they contributed to an observed change; in other words, they are concerned with assessing a causal claim. To make this type of assessment possible, Oxfam developed a pre-qualified protocol, based on process tracing.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Gender Based Violence , Feminism
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Bilal Malaeb, Eustace Uzor
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)
  • Abstract: Ending (extreme) poverty in all of its forms everywhere around the world continues to dominate the International Development Agenda (UN 2015). However, while poverty is declining in much of the developing world, data from the World Development Report (WDR) Conflict, Security, and Development reveal that fragile and conflict-affected states are lagging behind. The report points out that ‘Poverty rates are 20 percentage points higher in countries affected by repeated cycles of violence over the last three decades. Indeed, with the worlds extreme poor over represented in fragile and conflict-affected ,some authors argue that violent conflict is development in reverse
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Poverty, United Nations, Women, Gender Based Violence , Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Uganda, Global Focus
  • Author: Siham Rayale, Ed Pomfret, Deborah Wright
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report looks at Somali women's experiences with conflict, peace, violence, insecurity and state rebuilding. It uses an approach geared towards gender-just peace-building to understand the ways in which Somali women have fulfilled their role as agents of change, while navigating the challenges posed by women's exclusion from many forms of public life (government, civil society, universities, open markets etc). Interviews and focus groups have been used to illustrate diverse perspectives and to demonstrate that Somali women have always been principal agents of change and social transformation. The report's recommendations are an acknowledgement of the role Somali women have played throughout the course of Somali history, and continue to play today, in shaping the pathway towards greater participation for women across Somali regions, and the challenges they face in so doing.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Social Movement, Women, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia