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Addressing Gendered and Sexualized Violence in Conflict

Colloquium | March 1 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 691 Barrows Hall

Center for Race and Gender


Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

CRG Conference Room, 691 Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley

Location is ADA accessible

Addressing Gendered and Sexualized Violence in Conflict
The CRG Thursday Forum Series presents…


Political Conflict, Gendered Violence and People’s Struggles for Justice in South Asia
Angana Chatterji, Political Conflict, Gender, and People’s Rights Project, Center for Race & Gender

Afflicted by long-drawn-out political and foundational violence, including gendered and sexualized violence, contemporary South Asia is surfeited with myriad disputes, nationalist assertions and divisive politics. Here, structural inequalities, majoritarian states, and the glorification of militarism abound. The present is witness to complex histories, residual conflicts and decolonial movements. Pervasive violence delimits the scope of people’s rights. States in South Asia frequently do not adhere to international standards in addressing conflict and often decline to become a party to international processes or to sign and ratify, and honor and enforce, international treaties. If they do, it is often merely symbolic with uneven intent and capacity to comply. For the victimized-Other, there is an urgent need to address conflict and shape justice mechanisms. This presentation analyzes relations between gendered and sexualized violence, counter-memory, people’s processes for justice, and the right to a remedy across South Asia.

Challenges in Prosecuting Sexual Violence from Nuremberg and Tokyo to the ICC
David Cohen, WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University

Sexual violence has in recent years emerged as one of the most dynamic areas of developing international criminal law. While this is reflected in the multiplicity of forms of sexual violence encompassed in the Statute of the ICC it has yet to find expression in the practices of that Tribunal. More generally, despite the increasing recognition of the centrality of sexual violence as an integral aspect of armed conflict, genocide, and campaigns of terror directed at civilian populations, tribunals have struggled to fully implement and prioritize the emergent doctrinal legal order. This presentation traces some of the challenges in prosecuting sexual violence from early efforts in the post-WWII tribunals through case studies on the UN Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor, the ICTR, the ongoing trials at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (ECCC) in Cambodia, and the ICC.

Moderated by:
Paola Bacchetta, Gender & Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley


Angana P. Chatterji is the founding Co-chair, Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project and Visiting Research Anthropologist at the Center for Race and Gender at University of California, Berkeley. Professor Chatterji’s scholarship bears witness to contemporary issues in political conflict and (post)colonial, decolonial conditions of grief, dispossession and agency. In Kashmir, Chatterji co-founded the People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice (2008-2012). In Odisha, Chatterji founded the People’s Tribunal on Religious Freedom (2005). She co-led a commission on displacement and mega dams in the Narmada Valley (2004). Previously, Chatterji was Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she co-created a graduate curriculum in postcolonial anthropology and taught from 1997-2011.Chatterji’s publications include: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa; monograph, lead editor: Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal; co-edited volume: Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia; co-contributed anthology: Kashmir; and reports, lead author: BURIED EVIDENCE: Unknown, Unmarked, and Mass Graves in Kashmir (2009), Communalism in Orissa (2006), and Without Land or Livelihood (2004).

David Cohen is the WSD Handa Professor in Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University where he directs the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice. Professor Cohen taught at UC Berkeley from 1979-2012 as the Ancker Distinguished Professor for the Humanities, and served as the founding Director of the Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center, which moved to Stanford in 2013, becoming the WSD Handa Center. His involvement in research in war crimes tribunals began in the mid 1990’s with a project to collect the records of the national war crimes programs conducted in approximately 20 countries in Europe and Asia after WWII. Since 2001, Cohen’s work had largely focused on contemporary tribunals and transitional justice initiatives. Cohen has led justice sector reform initiatives, tribunal monitoring, and human rights projects in Indonesia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia. Cohen publications include, Indifference and Accountability: The United Nations and the Politics of International Justice in East Timor (2006), and A Well-Reasoned Opinion? The Judgment and Trial of the Senior Leaders at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal/ECCC (2015, co-authored).