Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

  • rangita desilva

Rangita de Silva de Alwis, LLB, LLM, SJD

School of Law
Associate Dean for International Programs

Professor de Alwis is an esteemed women’s human rights scholar and practitioner with over 25 years of experience working globally in over 25 countries with a vast network of academic institutions, government, and nongovernment entities on women’s human rights law and policy making and institutional reform.  


Before joining Penn Law in 2015, she was the inaugural director of the Wilson Center’s Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Women in Public Service Project launched by Secretary Hillary Clinton and the Seven Sisters Colleges. She has been an adviser to UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA, and UNDP. Professor de Alwis has published widely with the World Bank, United Nations, and in various leading law journals. Her recent publications include a report on child marriage and articles on domestic violence law in Asia.


Click here to see her 2-minute video addressing the question of what happened to the initial burst of momentum regarding the role of women and why hasn't it been sustained?




de Silva de Alwis R, Jaising I. The role of personal laws in creating a second sexNew York University Journal of International Law and Politics. 2016; 48(4): 1085-1104.


de Silva de Alwis R, Klugman J. Freedom from violence and the law: a global perspective in light of the Chinese domestic violence law, 2015. University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law. 2015 Nov;37(1):1-52.



Click here for more information on Dr. de Silva de Alwis