For the last 25 years, our partners have been at the core of everything we do. With shared vision, passion and principles, we advocate together for laws and policies to make equality a reality for women and girls.
Our work reflects the priorities that our partners have identified as critical - women and girls on the ground know what the real issues are and what resources are needed to solve them. We rely on their skills, knowledge, ideas, connections and understanding of the community to bring about change. Our partners help connect us with women and girls whose rights have been abused and whose legal cases for justice can help to bring about systemic change. We value our partners because they challenge us to see things differently and help us learn and constantly improve.
On our end, Equality Now adds value to our partners’ work in a variety of ways. We contribute our expertise of international human rights law and legal advocacy. We help connect partners with each other so they can share knowledge and build alliances. We strategize opportunities for joint submissions to international and regional bodies and release public actions that target specific laws and that call on the leaders responsible for changing or implementing them. We reach vast audiences worldwide through our digital networks and media advocacy, which includes high-profile change makers and influencers.
We use every opportunity to collaborate on national, regional and international campaigns to protect and promote the human rights of women and girls. Together, we work to ensure that individual cases become international concerns, and that progress made globally is enacted locally. Working together with partners creates solidarity for change that cannot be ignored by power holders.
Whether our partners are grassroots organizations that delivers critical on-the-ground services, law firms that partner with us on cases pro-bono, coalitions of women’s rights groups, artists who use their talents to educate and inspire their audiences, corporate partners who stand with us to protect women and girls, survivors who advocate using their intimate first-hand experience, and of course, supporters who give their voice, time and energy in so many creative ways - ALL of our partners epitomize what it means to be everyday activists.
As part of our 25th anniversary series we want to highlight four of our partners who could use your voice as an everyday activist today.
STAND UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!
In Egypt, leading human rights defender Azza Soliman continues to be oppressed by the government. Azza, who co-founded the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA), and other human rights defenders are being targeted for their work to protect human rights. Azza has been barred from travel and her assets have been frozen.
We first partnered with Azza to respond to women’s rights slipping away in the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. When we learned Azza was facing discrimination last year we had to take action. By severely curtailing the ability of activists like Azza to speak out, women and girls are losing the voice of brave champions, resulting in serious consequences for human rights and for justice.
By raising our voices together we can let the government of Egypt know that women’s rights are too important to be swept away so carelessly!
HELP STOP CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN BOLIVIA!
When Brisa was 15 years old, an adult cousin started raping her, and used more violence to keep her silent. Fifteen years later, Brisa’s abuser has still not been brought to justice. Unfortunately, her case is not unique in Bolivia, which has one of the highest rates of sexual violence against women and children in South America, but one of the lowest reporting rates. And like victims worldwide, children in Bolivia face incredible obstacles in seeking justice.
In July 2014, we began a partnership with Brisa de Angulo - a survivor of sexual abuse - and her organization, A Breeze of Hope (Fundación Una Brisa de Esperanza), to address the alarming rates of child sexual abuse and incest in Bolivia and gaps in the law that allow it to continue. Together, along with the Human Rights Advocacy and Litigation Clinic at Rutgers Law School and the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed we are pursuing litigation and advocacy in support of Bolivia’s girls.
Help us make sure that Bolivia follows through on its promises and obligations to its women and girls!
FIGHTING TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) IN THE US
FGM in the United States has been a reality for decades. But only over the last few years has it been getting the attention it deserves. This is thanks in large part to the activism of survivor activists like Jaha Dukureh and Mariya Taher who each founded their own organizations - Safe Hands For Girls and Sahiyo - in order to end FGM in the US and around the world. Equality Now has been proud to partner with them in demanding an end to this human rights violation.
In December 2016, Equality Now, Safe Hands for Girls, The United States Institute of Peace and the US Network to End FGM/C came together to host the “End Violence Against Girls: Summit On FGM/C” in Washington, DC - the first of its kind to be held in the US. FGM in the US gained even more attention in April 2017 with the arrests of four people in Michigan who are the first to be charged under the US federal law that criminalizes FGM.
FGM is a global issue - more than 200 million girls and women around the world today have undergone some form of FGM. In the US alone, 513,000 women and girls have experienced or are at risk of FGM.
To our US supporters: Ensure that the momentum we have gained in fighting FGM does not slow down! If your state doesn’t have a law banning FGM and vacation cutting call your state representative to demand legislation banning this human rights violation.
END SEX TRAFFICKING AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Survivor leadership is critical in combatting sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Survivors' voices demonstrate strength, courage and activism and we must do more than just listen to their stories - we must act.
On 21 June, Equality Now partnered with the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), UN Women, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ambassadors from Panama and Sweden, Apne Aap, survivor activist Withelma ‘T’ Ortiz Walker Pettigrew and arts in advocacy group, GoodCappArts, to host a panel discussion at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
The discussion focused on the importance of listening to survivors to shape policy and how to use the Global Plan of action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to combat sex trafficking of women and girls around the world.
Take action by calling on your government to prioritize ending sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in your country. Urge leaders to listen to survivors and to develop victim centered approaches for ending sex trafficking.
HELP GROW OUR NETWORK
These are just four partners who could use your voice in furthering their advocacy. But there are hundreds more who would love to partner with you in making the world a more just place for women and girls. We can only end gender inequality by working together and standing up for each other in the face of adversity.