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Ramona Vijeyarasa

Ramona Vijeyarasa

Current Positions

Previous Positions

Chancellor, University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

Dr Vijeyarasa is the 2020 Women's Leadership Institute Australia Research Fellow. A graduate of New York University School of Law (LL.M) and the University of New South Wales (Ph.D, LL.B/B.A), Dr Vijeyarasa is a Chancellor's Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law at UTS. She is the Chief Investigator behind the Gender Legislative Index, a tool powered by human evaluation and machine learning to assess the gender-responsiveness of individual laws. It has been piloted on over 130 laws from Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Australia to evaluate the legislative impact of women leaders on women's lives.

Dr Vijeyarasa's research pivots around gender and human rights. Her current research focuses on strengthening accountability for women’s rights at the domestic level. It particularly seeks to advance the gender responsiveness of domestic legislation by providing benchmarks for the drafting of new laws and for evaluating existing ones based on global human rights commitments.

Before joining UTS, she held several positions on women’s rights issues in international organisations, non-profits and international NGOs. Dr Vijeyarasa’s international human rights activism has included advancing anti-trafficking victim reintegration networks in Vietnam and Ukraine, filing briefs before the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court of Moldova and the Supreme Court of the Philippines, making submissions to UN treaty bodies and overseeing research and programming on women and youth in urban spaces. This rich experience informs her impact-driven approach to research, where sound methodologies are created to deliver tangible change in order to improve lives through the law.

Dr Vijeyarasa is the author of Sex, Slavery and the Trafficked Women: Myths and Misconceptions about Trafficking and its Victims (2015) and more than twenty other peer-reviewed publications on law and gender issues. She has appeared on the media in several countries (TV and radio) and was one of the leading contributors to the Reproductive Health Reality Check blog, sponsored by the United Nations Foundation.

Ramona has won a number of academic awards and fellowships. This includes an NYU International Law and Human Rights Fellowship and the United Association of Women Prize in the School of History. Her research has been supported by the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia (2020-2021), the UTS Center for Social Justice and Inclusion Social Impact Grant (2020), the inaugural UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Outcomes to Impact Grant (2020), with Rapido Social, and a UTS Law Research Seed Grant (2018). She is currently co-Chief Investigator on a new project (funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) studying the ‘Pathways to politics for grassroots and development-sector women in Sri Lanka and Indonesia’. Ramona has lived and worked on every inhabitable continent.

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