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Gender was largely absent from transitional justice (TJ) practices like human rights trials, truth commissions, and reparations policies from 1970 through 1990. But attention to gender in transitional justice has increased significantly beginning in the early 1990s, and the timing, location, and type of gender-attentive TJ aligns closely with patterns of feminist activism at that time. Initially, gender-attentive TJ policies focused predominately on physical harms of women, especially rape. Early accountability for gender violence of any kind is more likely to be associated with “positive spillover” and lead to broader attention to gender issues of more diverse groups. As such, new TJ practices have rendered visible gender harms and established some accountability for them.

Kathryn Sikkink, Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, is an international relations scholar best known for her work on human rights, international norms, transnational advocacy networks and social movements, and transitional justice. Her books include: Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (co-authored with Margaret Keck); The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics; Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century; The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibility (Yale University Press, 2020); and most recently (co-authored with Richard Price) International Norms, Moral Psychology and Neuroscience (Cambridge University Press Elements Series, 2021). Sikkink has been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. 

Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Munk-Darling International Relations Lecture Fund.


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