Lawyers Jessica Neuwirth, Navanethem "Navi" Pillay and Feryal Gharahi founded Equality Now in 1992 with the mission of using the law to protect and promote the human rights of women and girls.

Equality Now co-founders Navi Pillay and Jessica Neuwirth at the 4th World Conference on Women,  Beijing 1995At the time, women’s rights weren’t recognized as human rights. Domestic violence was just life.  Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was a cultural rite of passage. Child marriage was a local custom.  And rape was seen as an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of war and civil unrest.

Legal advocacy at every level

Equality Now learned that by directing public and media attention from all over the world on individual cases of abuse, while also advocating with policymakers and at the United Nations, we could put significant international pressure on governments to enforce and enact good laws – laws that defend women’s rights.

We want to make discrimination against women history.

Equality Now is dedicated to:

  • Gender Equality: Women and girls are fundamentally equal to men and boys.
  • Universality: Everyone, everywhere, has the right to live without violence and discrimination.
  • Partnership: We value strong reciprocal relationships with organizations and activists who also champion equality.
  • Speaking Up and Out: Where others see controversy, we see opportunities for activism and change.

With persistence and the help of our partners and supporters, Equality Now helps change laws and attitudes.

Early Success

When we advance equal treatment and protection under the law, our work is a powerful catalyst for global peace and prosperity.

Help us make equality reality.

“When we launched in 1992, we had a deep conviction that we could and must act against the violation of women’s rights around the world. Equality Now has become a standard for activism on the ground where we try to translate women’s needs into national, regional and international law, policy, and practice…”
Jessica Neuwirth, Co-Founder, Equality Now