Gender and Transitional Justice

30 October-10 December 2019 (E05619) Register for this course (will open in new window)
Instructor: Stephanie Chaban

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 Lebanon and Syria 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.

Course structure

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.The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

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 instructor: Stephanie Chaban

Stephanie ChabanDr. Stephanie Chaban is Social Affairs Officer at UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in Beirut (Lebanon). She has more than ten years of experience working with women affected by violence and insecurity, including research into how women’s organizations engage with international norms in the criminalisation of domestic violence in the Middle East/North Africa region. For her PhD (Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster) she researched at the role of women’s organisations in the emergence of domestic violence legislation in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, using Egypt and Lebanon as case studies. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Stephanie Chaban worked in the Palestinian West Bank on issues impacting the security of women and girls, including gender-based violence. She has also spent time focusing on similar issues in the wider MENA region. Before working in the MENA region, Dr. Chaban worked as a victim advocate with various domestic violence organisations in the US. Stephanie has an MA in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University, USA. She is also instructor of the Human Rights Campus e-learning courses Women, Peace, and Security and Gender-based Violence.

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. Human Rights Campus aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: € 345 (after 1 September 2019: € 405); tuition for auditors€ 135 (€ 165 after 1 September 2019). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal and bank transfer. Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Register for this course (will open in new window).

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.