Women’s Contributions to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela   •   February 2005


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In 1994, in order to address apartheid-era human rights abuses, the country created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Two important goals of the TRC were to grant amnesty to perpetrators of human rights abuses who disclosed the atrocities they committed and to break the country’s cycle of violence. Women played vital roles in the TRC. They were nurturing and compassionate commissioners and staff, and they were emotional witnesses who addressed the suffering of others in their testimonies. This publication documents and analyzes the ways in which women shaped South Africa’s post-apartheid transitional justice process.

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