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Minnesota Journal of International Law

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This Article contributes to the literature by analyzing the normative shifts within the country's institutions, both pre- and post-genocide, and observes the role of women in restructuring the institutions as a major factor in the success that Rwanda enjoys today. By prioritizing gender equality in the recreation of its legal and economic structures, Rwanda is able to leverage the talents and capabilities of its entire population, and provides a model that can be applied to a number of other countries.

Part I details the historical underpinnings of the Rwandan genocide and humanitarian crisis. Part II addresses the efforts to establish the rule of law in the aftermath of such a tragedy and describes the novel use of an indigenous forum for conflict resolution, gacaca, and the impact that this type of judicial experiment had on women in particular. Part III analyzes how Rwanda created a legal environment that empowers women. Part IV analyzes how the combination of reestablishing the rule of law through gacaca and an empowering legal environment helped sparked an economic rebirth within Rwanda, and promoted peace. While some details of Rwandan society post-genocide may be unique, this Part also outlines how the lessons from Rwanda can be applied more broadly and make a contribution to our understanding of how women influence peace, transitional justice, and entrepreneurship.



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