The post-apartheid South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) attempted to create reconciliation through truth-telling but neglected women’s needs in the process. This study asks: Are truth and reconciliation gender-neutral? Do men and women in South Africa have the same levels of reconciliation? Do they have the same opinions of the TRC? Through secondary data analysis from the Survey of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa (2000-2001), I examine the relationships between truth, reconciliation, the TRC, and gender. I show that while men and women are equally reconciled, these levels of reconciliation are alarmingly low. Furthermore, the TRC process is not positively affecting levels of reconciliation for either men or women, which demonstrates a need to re-evaluate TRCs as transitional justice mechanisms. I suggest further research to evaluate reconciliation using gender-respective definitions of truth and reconciliation in order to bring all South Africans to a place where nation-rebuilding is a reality.
Anna Schneider, ’11 Colorado Springs, CO
Majors: Sociology, Women’s Studies
Sponsor: Erin Davis