Engendering peace and truth: Women's participation in reconciliation processes in Africa

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Robb, Carley Jayne
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of women's participation in reconciliation processes in South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda. These three countries endured apartheid, civil war, and genocide, respectively, and face complex challenges in regards to reconciliation. The countries began to work towards peace and healing through the creation of state-supported reconciliation processes. Although each ofthese processes has contributed to reconciliation within the country, women's engagement within them has been limited. This research is based on qualitative interviews and document review and content analysis ofwomen's testimonies from the SATRC and the SLTRC. This research has revealed the complex relationship between women's experiences of conflict and their engagement with reconciliation processes. From this research, three factors that affect women's participation in reconciliation mechanisms have been established. This research also elucidates three aspects ofreconciliation processes that require increased attention in order to improve the inclusiveness and effectiveness of these processes.

women, participation, reconciliation processes, Africa, state-supported