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Bárbara Jiménez-Santiago (@BarbaraJ_Esq) is a human rights lawyer and the Americas Regional Coordinator at international women’s rights organization, Equality Now. She leads the development and delivery of Equality Now’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean.
She co-authored Failure to Protect: How Discriminatory Sexual Violence Laws and Practices are Hurting Women, Girls and Adolescents in the Americas, a 2021 report which examines gaps and loopholes in sexual violence laws in 35 countries in North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
She joined Equality Now in 2018, with more than a decade of experience advocating for access to justice, gender equality and the elimination of discrimination and violence against girls and women in Puerto Rico and in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Bárbara advises Equality Now on priority issues while establishing relationships with partner organizations and governments, and connecting to regional human rights mechanisms.
Bárbara is from Puerto Rico, where she led the creation of an inter-agency protocol on domestic violence and created an office of human rights community education for the judiciary of Puerto Rico. She has published and spoken widely on gender-based violence, including domestic violence and sexual violence, sexual discrimination laws in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on the need for governments in the region to allocate funding to gender equality programs.
She has also represented clients before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, and participated in the Universal Periodic Review process for Bolivia and reviewed Ecuador’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Honduras’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. She has led coalition building workshops in Sucre, Bolivia.
One of the most exciting aspects of her work with Equality Now is the opportunity to collaborate and create networks and coalitions among local organizations of youth advocates, feminist lawyers, and gender-based violence survivors, to advocate for systemic changes to local legal systems.
Bárbara earned her B.A. from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (University of the Sacred Heart) in San Juan, and a J.D, magna cum laude, from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.