‘Compensating an Assault on Dignity’? A Pan African Conference Report
This report is a rich and informative contribution to the discourse on sexual and gender based violence. It attempted to capture an extremely rich discussion that is intended to ensure a call to action in addressing SGBV. Chapter 1 Noting that transitional justice mechanisms are a new phenomenon, the chapter illustrates how the legacy of impunity for SGBV in times of “peace” means that transitional justice mechanisms are often focused on trials of the ‘Big Men’ with women’s rights concerns not being addressed. Chapter 2 on “Governmental, Parliamentary and Institutional Approaches,” raises the issue of the absence of responsive legal mechanisms for addressing SGBV and the lack of enforcement where they do exist. Whilst Chapter 3 “Exploring the Intersections” draws the linkages between HIV/AIDS and SGBV pointing to the fact that SGBV is an unrecognised driver of the pandemic. Chapter 3 also raises the issue of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and the need to engender the discourse on the security sector. Chapter 4 “Planning for Action: Group Sessions addressing the legal, policy and institutional gaps in addressing SGBV. Chapter 5 “Gallery Walk: Evoking the Rage” visually encapsulates the atrocities visited on women and girls in the perpetration of sexual and gender based violence. Chapter 6 offers concluding remarks with regard to how these strategies will be taken forward. It provides an analysis of the environment within which we are currently operating in Africa. It recommends three pillars that will underpin the actions that the reference group will seek to scale up in concert with the conference participants within the next year. Finally Chapter 7 contains appendices which include action plans developed by Conference participants, the Conference Communiqué and a statement of solidarity by some male delegates. It is hoped that this report will be a rich and informative contribution to the discourse on sexual and gender based violence.