“The government holds the key of my house, until when?”: Feminist contributions to transformative transitional justice

Sonia Garzon Ramirez

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This article focuses on women’s leadership contributions in advancing transformative perspectives in the field of transitional justice. It takes account of the recent debate prompted by feminist scholars of security studies concerning the imbrications of transitional justice and human rights, which highlights that when it comes to building durable peace, second generation human rights should be addressed. More precisely, feminist scholars have directed their attention towards transitional contexts with a view not only to the extent to which they provide justice for past human rights violations, but to their transformative potential to improve gender relations. Taking forward the concept of continuum of violence, they show how economic, social and cultural inequalities lie beneath structural mechanisms through which the violence of war is perpetuated or re-emerges as security threats in the aftermath of armed conflict. Building on this scholarship, I analyze the paradigms and strategies developed by Colombian feminist movements, in particular through their networking with civil society organizations in public political forums. Drawing on ethnographic data, this article examines how they have achieved the positioning of access to sustainable housing among the mechanisms of reparation and as a means of avoiding the re-victimization of victims of armed conflict. A brief overview of feminist politics of home is provided, highlighting the idea of home as a value. I argue that for victims of war, especially for those who have been forcibly displaced, access to sustainable housing might be a condition of possibility for self-affirmation, offering a safe platform from where they can rebuild their lives and develop a political subjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Time is Now
Subtitle of host publicationFeminist Leadership in a New Era
EditorsAraceli Alonso , Teresa Langle de Paz
PublisherGlobal Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender
ISBN (Electronic)978950937950
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


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