Gendered Visions of Injustice Amongst Displaced Women's Organizations in Colombia

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Diana Britto Ruiz, PhD

Abstract

The search for justice is at the core of the process through which victims of armed conflict try to overcome its devastating effects. However, “justice” -usually put in singular as one unique concept- may be understood in a number of ways, according to different definitions of “injustice” suffered by the victims. In consequence, the search for justice may embody a variety of actions and expectations regarding the State response. Gender may be one of the differentiating factors, as the Colombian case shows. There, forced displacement has affected women in a disproportionate way, but at the same time the displaced women have taken active part in organization building and collective struggles for justice. The kind of injustice they demand to be redressed depends on the definition of collective identity that guides their situational analysis and political agendas. This article is part of a comparative study of three displaced people organizations, all lead by women, but differentiated in the way they define the place of gender and women´s rights in their organizations: Just as a secondary element or as a main focus that helps to reveal the impact of displacement and war on women´s lives. This investigation is a combination of techniques is both qualitatively and quantitatively complementing itself. A study that analyses multiple scenarios which are real and allows the comparison between the three different organizations mentioned previously. The sources from which the information is acquired are two: the women, and documents, both written and digital from the webpages of said organizations. Given that most of the women in the investigation have security problems, the names and places of the interviews have been changed.

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