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2006 Women's Rights Prize

Cecilia Medina Quiroga

Chilean judge the Honorable Cecilia Medina Quiroga is one of the most prominent human rights jurists in Latin America.

The only woman judge on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which works to apply and interpret the American Convention on Human Rights, Medina Quiroga has also spent eight years as a member of the Human Rights Committee of the UN. While chairing the committee in 2000, she authored its groundbreaking general comment 28 on Article 3 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights dealing with the equal rights of men and women. The comment calls for nations to not only adopt measures of protection, but also to take positive measures so as to achieve the effective and equal empowerment of women.

Today Quiroga is working to educate lawyers in human rights law and the way women's human rights should be integrated in the mainstream of international law. She organizes a postgraduate course for lawyers on women's human rights at the Human Rights Center of the Faculty of Law, University of Chile. She is also working to apply these ideals at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

With a master's degree from the University of Chile and a doctorate in law from the University of Utrecht in Holland, Medina Quiroga has lectured widely on human rights law, including in Chile - where she is a Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Chile, the US - at Harvard Law School where she was a visiting Professor, and in Holland and Sweden. Medina Quiroga was born in Conception, Chile, in 1935.

The official citation celebrates Medina Quiroga for "advancing the rights of women through the framework of international law."