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Course E056: Gender and Transitional Justice

3 September-14 October 2014 (E05614) | Register for this course (page opens in new window)
Instructors: Corey Barr and Ahmed Karaoud
Course brochure PDF (PDF)

The push for recognition of, and accountability for violence and harm experienced during situations of armed conflict or political tension is the subject of the emerging field of transitional justice. Since the Nuremberg trials in World War II, a range of mechanisms have emerged as part of what may be conceived of as an overall 'package' of approaches used in facilitating societies’ movement from conflict to peace. These include mechanisms such as truth commissions, international prosecutions, national lustration mechanisms and reparation for victims.

The increasing trend towards the employment of transitional justice mechanisms after periods of conflict has been the subject of much debate as well as policy scrutiny from feminist scholars and gender practitioners. The field of transitional justice has been identified as important to broadening understanding of the women and conflict discourse and of women's experiences of armed conflict. Transition and transitional justice have been identified as gendered processes with potential to both contribute to and inhibit a more nuanced understanding of women's experiences of violence and harm during conflict.

This e-learning course provides participants with a general introduction to the field of transitional justice from the perspective of the need for accountability for women's specific experiences of harm during conflict. Legal as well as non-prosecutorial responses to women's experiences of harm (such as international criminal trials, truth commissions and reparations programmes) will be examined. Case studies from processes employed in post-conflict contexts such as Timor-Leste, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Morocco and Colombia will be used to illustrate the application of critical concepts of gender theory to the transitional justice field.

After this course, participants will:
• be able to identify the relevance of gender equality to processes of post-conflict transition and transitional justice;
• be able to critically assess processes of transition from a gender perspective;
• possess knowledge on the particular experiences of transitional justice for women in a number of specific country contexts.

This certificate course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, discussion, webinars, a written assignment and quizzes, and is offered over a six-week period. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Participants will do the required readings, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. Case studies will be used to enable interactive learning and activities.

Course outline

Week 1. An overview of 'transition' and 'transitional justice'
Week 2. Gender, transition and transitional justice
Week 3. Gender and Truth Commissions
Week 4. Gender and criminal justice
Week 5. Gender and reparations
Week 6. Gender and institutional reform

About the instructors

Corey Barr is Program Associate at Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) where she works on the organization's distance learning program and self-directed e-courses. Previously, Ms. Barr worked as an independent consultant on gender, peace and security issues during which time she worked at the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women and subsequently UN Women. Ms. Barr has also worked on gender, security, humanitarian affairs and human rights with the International Action Network on Small Arms, the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, Mercy Corps, Amnesty International and the International Service for Human Rights. Corey Barr holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a university degree from Hampshire College. She is the co-instructor of the HREA e-learning courses Women, Peace, and Security and Gender and Human Rights (Foundation Course) (English and Spanish).

Ahmed Karaoud is a freelance human rights consultant & trainer from Tunisia. He served as the Head of Amnesty International's Middle East-North Africa (MENA) Office in Beirut (Lebanon) from 1996-2002. Previously, he was the Director of Training at the Arab Institute for Human Rights (1996-2001). Mr. Karaoud was imprisoned for many years for his non-violent political activities during the reign of the authoritarian regime in Tunisia. With more than thirty years of experience in the region, Mr. Karaoud is a seasoned human rights defender and trainer. His areas of expertise include human rights advocacy, monitoring, and transitional justice. He has been an instructor and trainer for HREA since 2006, including for the Young Arab Human Rights Defenders Program and for e-learning courses on Citizens and Advocacy (Arabic and French) and Monitoring Children's Rights (French).

Who should apply

The course is intended for staff of inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, humanitarian practitioners, gender focal points, (under)graduate students and other academics, and others interested in gender and (transitional) justice. Participants should have a good written command of English -- the working language of the course -- and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants. The maximum number of course participants is 25. A Certificate of Participation will be awarded upon successful completion of the course. It also possible to audit the course.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575; tuition for auditors: US$ 215. Payments can be made online by major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available.

There is a limited number of (partial) scholarships available for this course through HREA's Scholarship Fund.


Register for this course (page opens in new window). Registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. There is no registration deadline, but please be aware that courses generally fill up quickly!

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