Added: February 4, 2017 – Last updated: February 4, 2017


Author: Louise Vella

Title: Documenting Women’s Experiences of Conflict and Sexual Violence

Subtitle: On the Ground with the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission

In: Transitional Justice in Practice: Conflict, Justice, and Reconciliation in the Solomon Islands

Edited by: Renée Jeffery

Place: New York, NY

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Year: 2017

Pages: 141-169

ISBN-13: 9781137596949 (print) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781137596956 (online) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | Oceanian History: Solomon History | Society: Commissions / Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Solomon Islands Conflict



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»As Louise Vella writes in Chapter 6 in the case of the Solomon Islands, problems associated with documenting women's experiences of the Tensions and, in particular, sexual violence, indicate that for many women, revealing can be more harmful than it is healing. As Vella's chapter reveals, in contexts in which the public airing of grievances is not deemed culturally appropriate, the activities of TRCs have the potential to hamper reconciliation processes. Similarly, as Holly Guthrey and Karen Brounéus demonstrate in Chapter 4, the connection between the activities of truth commissions and the achievement of reconciliation is more complex and multifaceted that it is often portrayed to be. As their chapter reveals, in the case of the Solomon Islands, the truth commission process contributed to particular aspects of reconciliation by providing a forum for exchanges between individual victims and perpetrators to take place. At the same time, however, by bringing stories of injustice to light, the TRC also opened up possibilities for revenge and, in doing so, limited its ability to achieve societal reconciliation.« (Source: Renée Jeffery. »Transitional Justice and the Tensions.« Transitional Justice in Practice: Conflict, Justice, and Reconciliation in the Solomon Islands. Edited by Renée Jeffery. New York 2017: 10)

»The Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was mandate d 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.« (Source: SpringerLink)

Wikipedia: History of Oceanian: History of the Solomon Islands | Sexual violence: Types of rape / Wartime sexual violence | Truth and reconciliation commission: Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Solomon Islands)