Originally from Colombia, Luisa Cabal joined the Center in 1998 as a legal adviser and now leads the Center's legal and advocacy efforts in the United States and across the globe. During her tenure, Ms. Cabal has been instrumental in the expansion of the Global Legal Program to offices in Bogota, Colombia; Nairobi, Kenya; and Kathmandu, Nepal.
Ms. Cabal has pioneered the Center's international litigation and advocacy efforts, overseeing the international litigation strategy that has yielded groundbreaking results at the United Nations, regional, and national-level courts and human rights bodies:
- The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women established that governments have a human rights obligation to guarantee all women timely, non-discriminatory, and appropriate maternal health services because of our case in Brazil.
- The European Court of Human Rights condemned Poland for an abortion-related violation of a woman's rights that amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.
- The Nepal Supreme Court ruled that the government must guarantee access to safe and affordable abortion services.
- The Human Rights Council issued a resolution in which states reaffirm their commitment to address the root causes of preventable maternal deaths and disability.
- The Center has brought one of the first female genital mutilation cases before the Kenyan High Court demanding that the government uphold domestic law and international human rights standards.
She has developed human rights training projects and is co-founder of the first network of Latin American law professors (RED ALAS) working to integrate a gender perspective and women's rights into law school curricula. She has lectured widely and made presentations before policy and academic institutions in over 15 countries, and currently serves as a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia University School of Law. Ms. Cabal has published numerous articles on international human rights law and gender justice.
She currently serves as advisor to World Health Organization's Reproductive Health Department's Gender Advisory Panel; to the International Federation of OB/GYN's (FIGO) Sexual and Reproductive Rights Committee; and to University of California's Global Health Institute.
Ms. Cabal graduated from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She received her Master of Laws from Columbia University School of Law.