Director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative, Rangita de Silva de Alwis, recently spoke at a UCLA School of School of Law’s Journal of International Affair symposium titled “Building BRICS: Human Rights in Today’s Emerging Economic Power.” The two-day symposium, which was held on February 14-15, 2013, examined the human rights records in the so-called BRICS countries such as race relations in Brazil, freedom of expression in Russia, minority religious and language rights in China, women’s rights in India, and LGBT rights in South Africa.

Given her expertise in human and women’s rights in Southeast Asia, particularly India, Dr. de Silva de Alwis spoke at the second day’s panel, “Violence Against Women in India.” Together, with other experts who advocate for Indian women’s rights, Dr. de Silva de Alwis and her colleagues lead an insightful conversation addressing the causes of violence against women in India the policy changes that could lead to a reduction in sexual and gender based violence in India. The event attracted a broad campus audience drawn from individuals drawn from Law, Political Science, International and Development Studies, and Public Policy.