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We tackle the most difficult issues, challenge ingrained cultural assumptions and call out inequality wherever we see it. Social change often begins with legal change and so we use the power of the law to create enduring equality for women and girls everywhere.

Our specialism in human rights, sex discriminatory laws, gender equality, and legislative change makes Equality Now a leading expert on using the law to create a just world for women and girls.

Why Gender Equality Matters

Every day, women and girls around the world face violence and discrimination. 1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, regardless of age, background, or country, and almost every country in the world has laws that treat women and girls as second-class citizens.

Women and girls are denied equal access to rights, resources, services and opportunities, dignity, and worth. This inequality makes them vulnerable to dependency, exploitation, poverty, abuse, and violence.

This kind of inequality is bad for everyone, not just for women: research shows that where women and girls are treated unfairly, there is more societal conflict and less economic stability.

When societies treat women and girls fairly, there is less societal conflict and more economic stability.

How we work

Our programs endeavor to establish and expand laws that protect the rights of women and girls, prevent or repeal discriminatory laws, ensure existing laws and policies are enacted and fulfilled, and build sustainable partnerships with others, particularly civil society and others locally that will sustain the changes and further the equality agenda.

We believe the law matters

When discrimination is embedded in the law, then a world built on the principles of equality, justice, and mutual respect is not possible. Women and girls cannot lead lives of their own determination if they are treated as second-class citizens under the law.

We use legal reform and impact litigation to deter human rights violations and establish substantial equality. 

We believe women’s rights are a global issue

The international human rights system promotes positive gender norm-setting for women, girls, and gender minorities everywhere, motivating progressive action and fostering political will.

We use international and regional human rights mechanisms to hold governments accountable for protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls.

We believe people working together can change the world

There is power in numbers and working with a diversity of actors helps to amplify the voices of those most affected by inequality. Collaborating with a wide range of people and organizations enables us to learn from one another, and effectively adapt to the nuances and specificities of the unique contexts of where we work.

We bring together diverse partners to foster creativity, learn from each other, and ensure collaborative ownership of solutions.

Explore our work

By Issue

By Region

Equality Now’s Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund (AGLDF)

To prevent and address violations of the rights of girls, it is critical that institutional systems, including laws and policies and mechanisms to enforce them, are properly established and that the special circumstances and needs of adolescent girls are taken into account in designing and implementing such systems.

Through our Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund (AGLDF) we aim to:

  • empower girls to stand up for their rights;
  • make sure the justice system works for girls when their rights are violated;
  • set precedents with the case of one girl that will have a broad impact on thousands of girls just like her;
  • use cases to advocate for better laws and policies to protect girls; and
  • raise the visibility of local cases to show their national, regional and international impact.