Peruvian Activist for Human Rights and Women’s Issues to Speak at UW-Madison


CONTACT: Masarah Van Eyck,, 608-262-5590

Virginia Vargas will deliver her talk “Women’s Long March for Equality and Democracy in Latin America” at the Pyle Center at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Sponsored by the J. Jobe Soffa and Marguerite Jacqmin Soffa Distinguished International Visitor Fund, Vargas’ talk is part of the public launch of the Division of International Studies’ Human Rights Initiative and coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.

Vargas, an internationally recognized Peruvian activist, author, professor, and sociologist is renowned for her work in Latin America and Asia. She is the founding director of El Centro de la Mujer Peruana “Flora Tristán” (Center for Peruvian Women “Flora Tristán”) and served as general coordinator for the Latin American and Caribbean NGOs at the Global Forum of NGOs. She received a UNIFEM Award for her work in Beijing, China with the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Building on UW-Madison’s tradition of human rights scholarship and international service, the Human Rights Initiative redefines traditional human rights to include economic, social, and cultural rights. This sets it apart from other programs in the nation.

“Globalization is altering all of our lives,” says Gilles Bousquet, dean of the Division of International Studies. “Human rights champions like Virginia Vargas and the Human Rights Initiative more broadly ensure that we will protect and ameliorate the human condition amidst these global changes.”