Feminist Legal Studies

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 243–261 | Cite as

Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm

  • Julieta LemaitreEmail author
  • Kristin Bergtora SandvikEmail author


The growing literature on gender in armed conflict and the debates over post-conflict reparations for women, focus on the prevalence and harms of sexual violence. While this focus has recently been critiqued, there are few articulations of other types of gendered injuries. This article decentres the emphasis on sexual violence by examining the intersection between forced displacement and political insecurity. Based on extensive field research in Colombia, and using as an example a case study of an internally displaced women’s grassroots organization in Cartagena, Colombia, this article examines political insecurity as a specifically gendered harm. It reflects on the concrete circumstances of insecurity, on the relevance of traditional gender roles in the constitution of insecurity, and on the challenges for court-ordered remedies. This widening of the scope of attention also invites complex reflection on the possibility of transformative reparations in post-conflict situations.


Colombia Colombian Constitutional Court Gender and transitional justice Insecurity Internal displacement Reparations 



The study on which this article is based, entitled “The Significance of Political Organization and International Law for Internally Displaced Women in Colombia: A Socio-Legal Study of Liga de Mujeres, is a joint undertaking on the part of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), in Norway, and the Centro de Investigaciones Socio-Jurídicas (CIJUS) Universidad de los Andes Bogotá, Colombia. The Norwegian Research Council funded the study. The data collected for this Project has been stored according to the regulations and requirements of the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD). The authors thank Eva Sol Lopez, Juan Pablo Mosquera and Juliana Vargas for creative and committed research assistance, and the editors and anonymous reviewers at Feminist Legal Studies for detailed and insightful comments on a previous version of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de los Andes Law SchoolBogotáColombia
  2. 2.Peace Research Institute at Oslo (PRIO)OsloNorway

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