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Alda Facio

Mesoamerica Regional Advisor
Costa Rica

A feminist lawyer, scholar, and writer, Alda Facio contributes her expertise to JASS Mesoamerica as well as JASS’ thematic agenda on Power & Protection of Women Activists. She has a long and distinguished history in women’s human rights advocacy in Latin America and globally since the 1970s and is an international expert on gender and women’s human rights. Alda founded the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice of the International Criminal Court (ICC), becoming its first director. She is a member of the advisory committee of the global campaign “Our Rights Are Not Optional!” for the ratification and use of the optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and an advisor to the IWRAW Asia Pacific and other women’s organizations. Since 1991 she directs the Women, Justice and Gender Program of the United Nations Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention. She was also on the Advisory Committee for the UN Secretary General’s In-Depth Study of All Forms Of Violence.

Alda has helped design laws against violence against women in a number of countries and was one of the first to denounce the anthrocentrism in the theory and practice of human rights and law. In recognition of her stature in the field, she was the only Latin American candidate for the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women in 1994. She has taught and given conferences and workshops on human rights issues in many universities in the Americas and for groups of women. She was a judge on the Civil and Labor Court and founder and director of the National Dance Company of Costa Rica. Alda has written hundreds of articles on human rights and the position of women for numerous publications, including law journals, textbooks and was correspondent for FEMPRESS for 16 years. Three of her short stories are included in Latin American anthologies.

Articles and Publications

The Handmaid’s Tale of El Salvador – November 27, 2014
Political motherhood vs violence against mothers – November 25, 2013
Women Redefining Democracy – May 7, 2009
Equity or Equality for Women? Understanding CEDAW’s Equality Principles – January 2009
The OP-CEDAW as a Mechanism for Implementing Women’s Human Rights: An Analysis of the First Five Cases under the Communications Procedure of the OP-CEDAW – 2008
Trafficking in Women and Children for the Sex Trade: Reflections from a Latin American Human Rights Feminist – June 2003
Being a Lesbian in Costa Rica at the End of the Last Century

Media Profiles

Honouring Alda Facio: 6 years of the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls – December 4, 2020
Vienna+20: 20 Years of Collective Work Reaffirming Women’s Human Rights – November 28, 2013

Recent Blog Posts

What Coronavirus Teaches Us About Inequality, Discrimination and the Importance of Caring
Now that I´m Sixty-Five: celebrating HERstory
How Long? – Thoughts on Women and Occupy Wall Street
Age Matters: A JASS Discussion Paper


Dialogue 2: Learning from the crisis – May 21, 2020

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