‘In the swisspeace’s working paper series 2019‘
Four decades after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodian women continue to suffer from discriminatory social, cultural and economic norms and to experience gender injustice in social and political
spheres. Against this background, this paper asks whether and to what extent transitional justice has contributed to providing guarantees of non-recurrence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against
women in Cambodia.
This paper examines how the transitional justice process addressed SGBV committed under the Khmer Rouge regime. It shows that transitional justice has not adequately recognized SGBV against women under the Khmer Rouge, that there has been lack of representation of women in the process and that an unfair redistribution of resources after the Khmer Rouge contributed to further discrimination.
Drawing from the concept of guarantees of non-recurrence and feminist scholarship on gender justice, this paper highlights how a lack of gender-transformative policy and the government’s lack of capacity to comply
with international legal standards has shaped women’s experiences after the Khmer Rouge. It argues that, in order to guarantee the non-repetition of SGBV against women, transitional justice initiatives should aim to
address social and cultural injustice effectively; to subvert patriarchal and oppressive norms; and to promote women’s participation in social, economic and political development in Cambodia. It concludes with policy recommendations.