Films & Panel Discussion: When She's Worth Less: A Conversation About Global Gender Inequality

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 5:00pm

Location: Cohen Hall (Terrace Room) on Penn's Campus
Address: 249 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia

"When She's Worth Less: A Conversation About Global Gender Inequality".

The event will be a moderated discussion about some of the global sufferings - specifically rape, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse - that are affecting an alarmingly large percentage of our world's population. We will screen excerpts from two recent and prominent documentaries that have been released on these topics (see more information below), and we have a number of distinguished panelists from the legal, healthcare, and social sectors who will share their experiences and insights on the subject.

Snacks and beverages will be served!
RSVP here by Wednesday, April 15th.

Please see below for information about the panelists, documentaries, and generous co-sponsors for this event.

Supriya Challa (organizer)
Supriya Challa
MBA Candidate | Class of 2016
The Wharton School | University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Raili Roy - Moderator

Dr. Raili Roy is the Assistant Director and Lecturer at the South Asia Center at University of Pennsylvania. She brings a rich combination of skills and experiences, including a double masters in History from University of Kolkata and University of Cincinnati, with a specialization in comparative women's history in South Asia and United States and immigration history. She received her PhD in Women's Studies from Ohio State University in 2013.

Rangita de Silva de Alwis - Panelist
Rangita de Silva de Alwis joined Penn Law school in February, 2015 as the Associate Dean of International Programs.  Before coming to Penn Law she  was the  inaugural director of the Wilson Center's Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Women in Public Service Project launched by Secretary Hillary Clinton and the Seven Sisters Colleges until January 2015. Rangita is a women’s human rights scholar and practitioner with over 25 years of experience working globally in over 25 countries with a vast network of academic institutions, government, and nongovernment entities on women’s human rights law and policy making and institutional reform. She has convened several transnational networks including the Women’s Leadership Network in Muslim Communities, the Asia Cause Lawyer Network in India, and the Gender and Law Expert Group and the Women’s Watch in China. She has worked over 14 years with Chinese gender and law experts and academics and has testified twice before the Congressional Executive Commission on China on the status of women’s rights in China. She has advised UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA, and UNDP on state accountability under the relevant human rights treaties and the intersections of the different treaties and treaty bodies. She has lectured at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, Penn Law School and UCLA Law School. She has lectured around the  world and published widely with the World Bank, United Nations, and in various leading law journals including with Yale Journal of Law and Feminism; Texas Journal of Gender and the Law; University of Pennsylvania East Asia Law Journal; Duke Journal of Gender and the Law; UCLA Pacific Rim Journal; UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Relations. Most recently, she developed a Gender Supplement to the U.N. Secretary General’s Guidelines on Disability and a report to the World Bank on Women’s Voice and Agency.

Rangita has a Doctorate in Law (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School and was a Teaching Fellow with the European Law Research Institute at Harvard Law School, a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and a  Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. She was a Fulbright Specialist with the Asian University of Women, a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Wellesley College, a Visiting Scholar at Wellesley Centers for Women, and an Honorary Professor of China Women’s University. She has received several awards for her work on  international women’s rights.  

Zoe Timms - Panelist
In 2002, Zoe Timms founded Women’s Education Project (WEP) to help young women in South India from the poorest backgrounds succeed in college and careers. With the guidance of the local community in Madurai and Hyderabad, Zoe developed the center’s concept: a comprehensive program in a caring, supportive environment. Students receive scholarships to college. In the afternoons at the Center, they use the computer lab and library and study among friends. On weekends and holidays, they attend WEPs I am a Leader training sessions to gain life skills and knowledge of health, environment, finance and civic issues. As graduates, WEP students are capable leaders prepared to make important change in their own lives, families and communities.

Today, Women’s Education Project, a New York based 501(C)(3) foundation, operates three centers in South India and has over 450 alumnae.  

Dr. Anita Ravi - Panelist
Dr. Anita Ravi is a Family Medicine Physician and a Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her clinical, research and advocacy work is focused on addressing gender-based violence prevention and intervention efforts- particularly among incarcerated, veteran, refugee and trafficked persons. She is currently launching The Purp.L.E. Clinic- a primary care clinic in New York City for persons involved in the commercial sex industry (including trafficking survivors), and has been awarded a University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics grant to study the healthcare experiences and perspectives of domestic sex trafficking survivors on Rikers Island. Her work also includes conducting asylum evaluations for Physicians for Human Rights, and providing patient care at the Philadelphia V.A. Women's Health Clinic.

A Path Appears

Produced by reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, this three-part series - focusing on sex trafficking, poverty cycles, and domestic abuse - first aired in 2015, and takes viewers on a journey across the country and globe, to drive home the universality of gender inequality and the roots of vulnerability. The series leads viewers to a deeper understanding of these critical issues and the proven methods of bringing about change.
Official Site:

India's Daughter
Directed by Leslee Udwin and part of BBC's Storyville series, India's Daughter is based on the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder of a 23-year old physiotherapy student. The film was supposed to be released on International Women's Day (March 8th, 2015), but the film was blocked by the Indian government on March 4th after it was revealed that the film makers had interviewed one of the rapists while he was being held in jail. The film and the Indian government's decision to refuse its broadcast has created a great deal of discussion in India and around the world.