Documenting women’s experiences of conflict and sexual violence: on the ground with the Solomon Islands truth and reconciliation commission

Vella, Louise (2017) Documenting women’s experiences of conflict and sexual violence: on the ground with the Solomon Islands truth and reconciliation commission. In: Jeffery, Reneé, (ed.) Transitional Justice in Practice. Palgrave McMillan, New York, NY, USA, pp. 141-169.

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Abstract

The Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was mandated to give special provisions for women, in accordance with global developments and expectations in transitional justice practice. Yet on the ground realities reveal that, though well-intentioned, efforts to achieve gender sensitivity and representation within an already imported mechanism are fraught with challenges. Meanwhile, scholars, policymakers, and practitioners continue to call for greater empirical research to understand how truth commissions are adopted, negotiated, contested, and transformed in the range of cultural contexts in which they are implemented, to contribute to a more informed and refined understanding for future practice. Drawing from research conducted with dozens of TRC staff and stakeholders, and the authors’ own experience of working for the Solomon Islands TRC, this chapter examines the friction of importing a globalised mechanism into a culturally embedded context; of balancing demands and aspirations for truth and reconciliation on the national level with localised realities; and the at-times clash between transitional justice discourse and local practices and kastoms in Solomon Islands. These challenges are illustrated with a closer examination and reflection of the difficulties and complexities of researching women’s experiences of the conflict, and of sexual violence in particular.

Item ID: 53928
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-137-59694-9
Keywords: sexual violence; Solomon Island; statement taker; Rome Statute; transitional justice
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2018 04:51
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169905 Studies of Pacific Peoples Societies @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920503 Health Related to Specific Ethnic Groups @ 50%
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