Puja Kapai Paryani
DEPARTMENT OF LAW
Convenor, Women’s Studies Research Centre
Director, Social Justice Summer Internship
Master of Laws (LLM), Harvard Law School
Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL), The University of Hong Kong
Bachelor of Laws (LLB), The University of Hong Kong
Barrister of the High Court of the Hong Kong SAR (non-practising)
Puja Kapai is a multi-award winning researcher, academic and community justice advocate. She is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law and Convenor of the Women’s Studies Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Her expertise lies in international human rights law, minority rights, and intersectional legal studies, focusing on the rights of marginalised communities. She has researched and published widely in international human rights law, minority rights, and intersectional legal studies, focusing in particular on the rights of communities marginalised on grounds of gender, race, religion, sexuality, and citizenship specifically in the areas of education, poverty, democratic participation, language rights, hate speech and gender- and race-based violence and discrimination.
Puja’s work has influenced policy development and advocacy across legal and service sectors in Hong Kong especially in respect of racial equality and violence against women. Her comprehensive reports on the Status of Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong 1997-2014 and the intersectional challenges experienced by ethnic minority victims of domestic violence broke new ground in putting these issues on the map in HK. Her report on the Help-Seeking Behaviours of Ethnic Minority and Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence led to the establishment of a Subcommittee in the Hong Kong Legislative Council to comprehensively examine policies and provisions, calling for a shift in strategies to deliver culturally responsive support and equal access to services to ensure the protection of all women against violence. In 2019, she published Doing Equality Consciously, the first study on unconscious bias in Asia. Her work and recommendations have been presented to the HK Legislative Council, the Poverty Commission and the UN CERD Committee, leading to shifts in policy implementation.
Puja is a frequent Keynote Speaker and was recently invited to speak on minority girls in education at the UN Forum on Minority Issues in 2019 and on hate speech at the UN Asia Pacific Regional Forum on Minority Issues in 2020. Puja received the International Women of Courage Award 2015, the Faculty of Law’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016, HKU’s Knowledge Exchange Award 2017 and the American Chamber of Commerce’s Professional Woman of the Year Award 2019. Her work has garnered international recognition and she has been shortlisted as one of ten global finalists for the 2021 Global Pluralism Award awarded by the Global Centre for Pluralism in Canada in recognition of her contributions to advancing pluralism, inclusion and equality of access and enjoyment of human rights for all.
Puja sits on the boards of numerous NGOs, has made deputations before the Hong Kong Legislative Council and the United Nations Treaty Bodies on multiple occasions. She is also regularly interviewed by Hong Kong and international media on issues spanning her wide range of expertise, including the Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC, CNBC, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press, among others.
- Gender Justice
- Equality and Non-Discrimination
- Minority Rights
- Hate Speech
- Right to and Equal Access to Education
- Multidimensional Poverty
- Violence Against Women and Girls
- Democratic Participation and Deliberative Theory
Membership on Advisory Bodies, Committees and NGOs