Gender-based harms experienced in conflict constitute a threat to the right of women and girls to live with dignity. However, transitional justice processes to manage the delicate nexus between peace and justice often do not consider these harms, resulting in adverse outcomes for women and girls in post-conflict societies. At the frontlines of the fight to address gender-based harms through transitional justice, women’s rights organisations (WROs) are uniquely placed to identify and advocate for the needs of women experiencing conflict and to provide integral services in conflict contexts. Despite this critical dual role, WROs in conflict settings are systematically excluded from transitional justice processes and chronically underfunded. Moreover, current literature lacks a nuanced understanding of how WROs work in transitional contexts and how international institutions can best foster their engagement and leadership. Expanding on the evidence base for the inclusion of WROs in transitional justice processes, this paper mobilises the concept of hybrid peace to analyse the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and understand the role of WROs in negotiating the interactions between internationalised peace-building processes and local realities. Research methods include a literature review and analysis of public statements from relevant WROs. This paper argues that WROs engaged with the ICTY played a critical role in building positive hybrid peace by: (1) advocating for and supporting the inclusion of gender-based harms in the internationalised transitional justice process; and (2) implementing localised peace formation and fostering positive gender relations at the community level. The research contributes to broader literature defining the role of WROs in the localisation of development and human rights norms.
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