Monica Roa

Mónica Roa is the Programs Director at Women’s Link Worldwide. Women's Link Worldwide is an international human rights non-profit organization working to mainstream gender into the world of justice and human rights. With this objective in mind, she strives to advance women's rights through the implementation of international human rights standards and strategic work with the courts, including strategic litigation. Mónica Roa has a degree in law from the University of the Andes, Bogotá, Colombia and holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) as a Global Public Service Law Scholar from New York University. Since 2004, at Women’s Link Worldwide she has developed her ideas regarding the judiciary as a pivotal branch in democratic society and has worked to foster greater dialogue between civil society and the courts on how to interpret rights from a gender perspective. Her work led her to file a petition before the Constitutional Court of Colombia, which led to the liberalization of the country's abortion law. Her contribution to human rights and women’s rights has been recognized by the most important media outlets in the country, which have awarded her accolades including ‘person of the year’ in 2005 and 2006. In 2011 she was recognized as one of the ten best leaders of Colombia by SEMANA and the Leadership and Democracy Foundation. In 2012 America’s Quarterly awarded her as one of the “heroes of social inclusion”.

She has participated in academic, political and legal conferences in Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States. Her publications include: "Bodies on Trial: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Latin American Courts" (2002); "Litigating Reproductive Rights at the Inter-American System for Human Rights" (Harvard, 2003); "Litigio de alto impacto en Colombia, la inconstitucionalidad del aborto" (Paidós, 2006); "El derecho a decidir, avances, obstáculos y amenazas" (Razón Pública, 2009); "La objeción de conciencia en el aborto: escudo, no espada" (Razón Pública, 2010); "Great Eggspectations: La tecnología reproductiva y los nuevos retos para la autonomía de las mujeres" (U. Nacional de Colombia, 2010); “El procuradorcillo mentiroso: lo que sea con tal de impedir los derechos reproductivos” (Razón Pública, 2011); “Cuerpos de mujer, territorios de guerra” (Razón Pública 2011) and “Aborto, segundo round” (Razón Pública, 2011). She currently resides in Bogota.