Photo Credits: Alex Proimos

Use the law to change the world. Equality Now is dedicated to creating a more just world where women and girls have the same rights as men and boys. Our international network of lawyers, activists, and supporters hold governments responsible for ending legal inequality, sex trafficking, sexual violence and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and "child marriage".

Social change often begins with legal change and political will to enforce the law.

Since 1992, Equality Now has advanced women’s and girls’ rights by:

  • Combining legal advocacy with strategic litigation (taking carefully-selected cases to court to change laws and set legal precedents)
  • Influencing policy makers to strengthen human rights laws and mechanisms 
  • Holding governments accountable to international human rights law and standards
  • Elevating local advocacy to regional and international levels
  • Building partnerships with local activists, organizations, and coalitions that are most familiar with the challenges and solutions in their particular communities
  • Inspiring the public and the media to take action against human rights abuses

How we make equality reality: it starts with the law. 

“The law is a statement of your worth by your government. Laws that treat men and women, girls and boys unequally relegate women and girls to a lower status in society. Failure to outlaw practices that harm women and girls leaves them with no recourse for violations against them. The law is the way to hold your government accountable for your protection.” - Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director, Equality Now

Real cases, real change:

  • Equality Now’s advocacy led Hawaii to pass the first U.S. law explicitly making sex tourism a crime. 
  • Our 15-year persistence on behalf of a 13-year-old Ethiopian girl led to a precedent-setting ruling that held the government responsible for failing to prevent her sexual abuse and for denying her justice.
  • Equality Now’s activism in Kuwait helped achieve voting rights for women following years of advocacy by Kuwaiti women for political participation.  
  • Our formula for legal success is focusing on individual cases that are significant to a larger cause. Whether it is petitioning freedom for an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning or drawing awareness to the destruction of girls’ schools in Pakistan, Equality Now is on the forefront of the gender equality evolution.


Whenever You're Ready


When women and girls, men and boys are treated equally under the law, everyone wins. 

Our mission is to achieve legal and systemic change that addresses violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world. Research on gender and security in Sex and World Peace (2012) shows that when men and women are treated equally, societies function better. There’s less societal conflict and fewer wars when everyone has equal legal rights and respect.


Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett


Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett