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Archive for August 2012

By Mayesha Alam

“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.” – Maya Angelou

In the aftermath of political upheaval and mass violence, transitional justice mechanisms can help to form new political and social bonds. Transitional justice initiatives usually address the most egregious human rights abuses and are thus selective in terms of what crimes are addressed, which perpetrators are held accountable and even which victims are offered redress. On one hand, transitional justice offers a set of legal and political mechanisms that can be utilized to facilitate accountability for perpetrators, justice for victims, inter-group reconciliation and truth telling. On the other hand, transitional justice creates the opportunity to establish an accurate historical record of a conflict and to offer voice to the voiceless by acknowledging different narratives based on varied experiences that may include extreme physical violence or entrenched socioeconomic suffering and political marginalization. Transitional justice, by both the virtues of its conceptualization and its overarching purpose, is at once focused on the past, the present and the future.

Kenya TJRC And yet, an all too common problem in transitional justice – as with other aspects of peace-building and post-conflict transformation – is the exclusion of women’s voices in the design and implementation of restorative and retributive processes. This blog post is the first in a three-part series on analyzing and evaluating the impact of including women in transitional justice processes: how does the participation of women in transitional justice intiatives – as judges and lawyers during criminal prosecutions, as witnesses of atrocities in truth commissions, as trauma counselors, as beneficiaries of economic reparations and many other roles – enhance the strength of the peace achieved, the pace of reconciliation between previously warring parties, and the economic or sociopolitical recovery of the state? While this entry focuses on gender justice generally, the upcoming posts will focus on specific cases where women’s participation enhanced transitional justice processes such as truth commissions and criminal prosecutions.

When a transitional justice institution fails to recognize and adequately address this challenge, half the affected population is at risk of underrepresentation, which in turn, undermines peace and security. Gender mainstreaming in transitional justice is imperative to fulfilling the functions of transitional justice, not least that of facilitating a transition from conflict to sustainable peace. By paying attention to the post-conflict needs of both men and women, in other words introducing various gender perspectives, instruments and institutions of transitional justice can become loci for forming more equal gender relations by helping to re-conceptualize what is meant by victimhood, atrocity, inequality, redress and ultimately, even justice.

Gendering transitional justice has begun to occupy a growing space in academic debates and political consciousness in the last twenty years but remains a largely peripheral consideration. Gender, as a social construct, is the categorization that distinguishes men from women and through this categorization shape the roles, wellbeing and influence of each group’s members. Gender inequality, generally, encompasses the widespread and historical hierarchical positioning of men as superior to women in their perspectives, actions and potential which thereby makes the perspectives, actions and potential of women less than.  (Buckley-Zistel and Stanley, 2012; Valji, 2009; Askin, 2003; Minow, 1998) Mainstreaming gender should be interpreted as inclusion of men and women in different processes of transitional justice, acceptance of valuable contributions to initiatives irrespective of gender-membership, and taking a head-on approach to challenges faced by both men and women. Gender analysis creates the foundation for establishing “gender justice,” which is, “the protection of human rights based on gender equality.” (Valji, 2010; Ambos et al., 2009, p.217) Gender equality is distinct from gender neutrality or “gender-blindness” because it rejects the ignorance of gender dimensions and demands equal protection and redress for men and women based on their experiences in conflict and their needs in transitioning from conflict to peace.

Quantifying the impact of gendered perspectives in transitional justice conflict transformation is difficult. Quantitative data is scarce and qualitative data is limited primarily to anecdotes recounted to journalists or researchers, oral histories and official records of courts, commissions or other local and international institutions. The Institute for Inclusive Security notes that although measuring the impact of women in transitional justice is difficult, the following holds universal truth:

“Women link official processes to communities and often provide information about crimes. They have knowledge of the dis­tinct, complex violations of rights women suffer that can significantly inform truth commission mandates, judicial opinions, reparations schemes, and proposals for policy reform. Temporary courts and commissions function better when women are included throughout. Witnesses speak more freely to female judges. Male defense attorneys speak more respectfully to female witnesses. When a female judge presides, courts are more gender sensitive and provide more sophisticated witness protection. Moving women to actively participate in consolidating peace ensures that their voices, concerns, and needs are recognized and addressed.” (Page, Garlo and Speare, 2010, p.1)

The value of gender sensitivity in conflict resolution and in particular within the realm of transitional justice, is not limited to its applicability for providing redress to victims of gross human rights violations and historical structural violence. Introducing a gendered perspective facilitates a more comprehensive understanding of why a type of violence was committed, against whom and what place that kind of violence holds in the psyche of perpetrators as well as the normative culture of the society in question.

Wars do not end simply and transitional justice initiatives do not begin simply; trying to understand and address the gender dimensions of both make each even more complex.  According to the former research director of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, undertaking a transitional justice initiative is much like walking a tightrope. Gender mainstreaming in transitional justice is an intricate, multidimensional and arduous process that requires stamina, political backing, local ownership and mass participation.


EN(GENDER)ING Peace © 2012 – Please contact Mayesha Alam, editor of this blog, with any questions/comments at sfswomenpsd[at]gmail.com

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Egypt Woman Flag Smallest The EN(GENDER)ING Peace Blog is produced by the initiative to create an Institute for Women, Peace & Security in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Here, you will find commentary on a wide variety of issues pertaining to women, peace and security. The purpose of this blog is provide an open space for respectful intellectual discussion to enhance our collective understanding of why it is important to include women’s voices in the realms of peace and security and what difference women make. At the Institute, we firmly believe that the participation of women in decision-making and implementation of peace and security processes is sensible and beneficial not only to women but to whole societies. As such, the discussions here meant to drive the maximization of peace and security for all, not just for women.

Foci of individual blog posts will span recent research/policy/grassroots developments related to elevating the status of women in peace and security, including reviews of important events or announcements as well as critiques and analysis. Blog entries are aligned with the five main pillars of the Institute’s research framework. Below are just a few examples of questions we are interested in at the Institute:

· What are the structural and proximate gendered indicators of conflict and how does their exclusion from early-warning analysis impact conflict prevention?

·   Does the presence of women at negotiations affect the nature and sustainability of the resulting peace agreements? How?

·   What has been the impact of the introduction of women peacekeepers and women police officers on the efficacy of peace support operations?

·   What are the gender dimensions of conflict-induced displacement, forced migration and humanitarian emergencies?

·  How does lack of access to post-conflict development opportunities impact women’s contributions to economic growth and well being of vulnerable populations in post-conflict societies?

·     How can political, economic, cultural and legal gains secured by women during periods of violent conflict or political upheaval be sustained in the post-conflict phase?

·  How can gender mainstreaming be practiced in Disarmament Demobilization and Rehabilitation (DDR) and how does the involvement of women in DDR affect the overall success of such programs?

·    To what extent is international human rights law gendered and how does this impact the ability of women to participate in institutions for accountability (such as international criminal tribunals)?

Institute staff and guest experts from around the world contribute posts. Please note: all opinions expressed in any blog post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of the Institute. Thank you for your interest in these critical issues of our time. Feel free to leave comments and contact us if you have questions or are interested in contributing a post.

Jennifer Windsor

SFS Associate Dean & Interim Executive Director


Mayesha Alam

Special Assistant to the Dean & Institute Coordinator


EN(GENDER)ING Peace © 2012 – Please contact Mayesha Alam, editor of this blog, with any questions/comments at sfswomenpsd[at]gmail.com

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Registration Completion

The Office of the University Registrar is responsible for enabling students to register for courses in a timely and efficient way. All students at Georgetown should register online through MyAccess.

Add/Drop for Fall 2012 will begin in the first week of classes.

Continuing Undergraduate Students - Monday, August 27th

· 9:30 AM: Seniors

· 10:30 AM: Juniors

· 12:30 PM: Sophomores

New Transfer Students - Monday, August 27th

· 10:30 AM

Undergrad First Year Students - Tuesday, August 28th First Year registration opens based on the first letter of your last name

· 9:30 AM: F-G; U-W

· 10:00 AM: S-T

· 10:30 AM: H-K; X-Z

· 11:00 AM: N-R

· 2:00 PM: C-E

· 2:30 PM: A-B

· 3:00 PM: L-M

The electronic waitlist will run for most classes on Sunday, August 26th and again each work day after 4pm from August 28 to September 7th. Winners have 24 hours to claim their seat after which they will be dropped and the seat offered to the next student on the wait list.

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Sophomore year is a time of decision making, in selecting your major and applying for study abroad. You also need to be conscious about your major while selecting courses, since for some majors there are specific courses that should be taken during the sophomore year. Here are some guidelines.

1. Major Declaration

The major declaration period begins at the conclusion of Add-Drop in September and ends on the Friday before Spring Break. If you are applying for study abroad, your major has to be declared prior to initiating the study abroad application. The procedure of major declaration can be found at:http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/academics/majors/declaration/

Don't wait: If you already know your major, you should not wait to declare, as you can start establishing relationships with the curricular dean (the dean in charge of each major)* and the faculty mentor (if you choose to have one)**. Even if you are indecisive, don't worry about going ahead; you will not be prevented from changing your major in the future as long as there is a good academic justification and you can still graduate on time.

More information on the majors can be found at:http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/academics/majors/

You can also start thinking if you would like to pursue one of the certificates,

http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/academics/certificates/. Advising for certificates is done by individual certificate programs.

*Starting with major declaration, your advising dean changes from your first-year (or transfer) dean to the curricular dean.

** Having a faculty mentor is optional; a student who chooses to have a mentor is expected to construct a meaningful relationship with the faculty member.

2. Study Abroad Application

Some of the study abroad application deadlines are during the fall semester. Identify the program and the semester for which you wish to apply and make sure you know the deadline!


3. Major-Related Courses during Sophomore Year

The following are general recommendations. You need to contact the curricular dean for choice of courses that would match your specific study goals and study abroad plan. You can now see how important it is to declare early and start working with your curricular dean.

CULTURE AND POLITICS: If you plan to study abroad in the fall of your junior year, you should consider taking Theorizing Culture and Politics (CULP 045) in the spring of your sophomore year. All students interested in CULP must attend a CULP Information Session (see Globe for dates and times) before meeting one-on-one with Dean Gregory.

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: It is ideal to take Intermediate Micro in the fall, followed by Econ Stats or Intermediate Macro in the spring especially if you may study abroad during junior year. Calculus I is a prerequisite for these courses. If you don't have Calculus I or its equivalent yet, you have to take Calculus I in the fall followed by Intermediate Micro in the spring (unless you pass the Calculus I waiver exam on 8/27/2012).

INTERNATIONAL HISTORY: Students must select an area of study around which they construct their major coursework. Students interested in the major should meet with Dean Pirrotti prior to declaring to discuss their areas of interest. All IHIS students take HIST 305 Global Perspectives (fall only). IHIS students who study abroad during junior year must take HIST 305 either as sophomores or as seniors.

INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY: It is ideal to take Intermediate Micro in the fall, followed by Econ Stats in the spring especially if you may study abroad during junior year. Calculus I is a prerequisite for these courses. If you don't have Calculus I or its equivalent yet, you have to take Calculus I in the fall followed by Intermediate Micro in the spring (unless you pass the Calculus I waiver exam on 8/27/2012).  If you have not yet taken GOVT-006, you should take it this fall so that you can take GOVT-288 in the spring if you have room.

INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: You should have taken GOVT 006 by the end of the fall, and GOVT 121 by the end of the spring. You may take one of the major courses in the spring. And you should strongly consider taking IPOL 320 Quantitative Methods for International Politics, especially if you plan to study abroad in the fall of junior year. All students interested in IPOL must attend a IPOL Information Session (see Globe for dates and times) before meeting one-on-one with Deans Arsenault and Billingslea.

REGIONAL & COMPARATIVE STUDIES: All RCST majors must choose a specific theme to explore within their region(s) of the world. This theme becomes the basis for course selection in the major. Student pursuing Regional Studies must explain how the theme applies to countries of interest within the selected region. Comparative majors must justify the selection of regions against their selected theme.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: STIA majors should take STIA 305 Science & Tech in the Global Arena during the sophomore or junior years.

The Add-Drop period is 8/27/2012 (starting times according to last names) to 9/7/2012. http://registrar.georgetown.edu/

4. Career Planning

The Career Center has a useful career planning checklist for sophomores. http://careerweb.georgetown.edu/prepare/careerpreptimelines/13219.html

We look forward to seeing you back!

Mitch Kaneda, Associate Dean and Director of the Undergraduate Program (IECO and IPEC majors)

Elizabeth Arsenault, Assistant Dean (IPOL major - concentrations International Law, Norms, and Institutions and International Security)

Kendra Billingslea, Assistant Dean (IPOL major - concentration Foreign Policy and Policy Processes)

Maura Gregory, Assistant Dean (CULP major)

Mini Murphy, Associate Dean (STIA major)

Anthony Pirrotti, Assistant Dean (IHIS major)

Emily Zenick, Assistant Dean (RCST major)

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CULP Info Sessions

All students who want to declare the CULP major MUST attend an Information session this fall with Dean Gregory... Dates and Times TBA in future GLOBEs.

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INAF 230 - History of Zionism with Moran Stern

INAF 420 - Cultures and Society: Modern India

INAF 392 - Econ Analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa

CULP 409 - Modern India:Cinema &Democracy

GOVT 381  Dept Seminar:  Democracy and Conflict in the Andes

GOVT 383  Latin American Politics and Society

GOVT-357 Dept Sem. Modern Critics of Modernity

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Add-Drop Period

August 29th – September 7th

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A reminder that the deadline for turning in all work for Incompletes from Spring 2012 is Saturday, September 15th.

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· AP credits: Credits for scores that have been received by Georgetown are on the sheet in your packet. If any are missing, alert your dean/academic counselor and bring to him/her your original copy of the AP score report. AP credits will show up on your transcript later in the semester. AP credits list: http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/academics/core/credits/ap/.

· IB credits: Credits are possible for Higher Level subjects with scores of 6 or 7. If you have mailed in the Advanced Credit Information form and the official IB report has been received by Georgetown, you should see the credits appear on your transcript in MyAccess. IB credits list: http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/academics/core/credits/ib/.

13-Year Programs (A-Levels, French Baccalaureate, German Abitur, etc.): Make an appointment to see Dean Kendra Billingslea during this week for evaluation of transfer credit.  You must bring an official report of your scores.

· College Credits: For courses that satisfy the conditions of transfer credit, please work with your dean to post them on your record. http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/policies/academics/.

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The Scholarly Research and Academic Integrity Tutorial

This online tutorial covers important research skills and discusses the importance of research ethics. It is required of all first-year and transfer students and must be completed by Friday, October 5, 2012, prior to pre-registration for Spring. The 2012 tutorial will be available on the first day of classes, August 29, 2012. The tutorial is a collaborative project of students, faculty and staff from the Georgetown University Library, the Honor Council, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), theRegistrar’s Office, University Information Services (UIS), the Writing Center and each of the undergraduate schools.

Covers important research skills such as:

  • When and how to use the Web for research;
  • Differences between the Web and online library resources;
  • How to find scholarly books and articles;
  • Where to go for help.

Discusses the importance of research ethics:

  • How and why to keep track of sources;
  • Why it's important to credit your sources;
  • How to work in groups and share materials ethically.
Use This Service:

Note: This is the 2012 tutorial:

First-year and transfer students: Log in to MyAccess with your Georgetown University NetID and password and click on the tutorial.

Contact Information:

Sandy Hussey Library Research Instruction Coordinator husseys@georgetown.edu 202-687-8689

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