Why Gender Equality
Every day, women and girls around the world face violence and discrimination. Sexual exploitation, harmful cultural practices and systemic inequalities violate their human rights and prevent them from reaching their potential.
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.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
To achieve legal and systemic change that addresses violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world.
USING THE LAW: CREATE IT. CHANGE IT. IMPLEMENT IT.
A country’s laws set the tone for how it treats its people, and how its people treat each other. When women and girls have fewer rights than men and boys, violence and discrimination are legitimised and ignored.
That’s why we use a unique combination of legal advocacy, regional partnership-building and community mobilisation to encourage governments to adopt, improve and enforce laws that protect and promote the rights of women and girls around the world.
We also use strategic litigation to promote equality and set legal precedents.
By taking to court individual cases that are significant to a larger cause, we help to change laws and hold governments accountable for ending inequality - creating a happier, better, safer future for everyone.
“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.
Since 1992, our global network of lawyers, partners and supporters has worked on a national, regional and international level to bring about real change for women and girls everywhere.
We have successfully changed laws protecting rapists in many countries, including through a decade-long campaign on behalf of a 13-year-old Ethiopian girl that led to a precedent-setting ruling holding the government responsible for failing to prevent her sexual abuse and for denying her justice.
We worked with African regional partners to develop one of the most progressive and comprehensive legal instruments in history on women’s rights – the Maputo Protocol. As Secretariat for the pan-African Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition (SOAWR), we’ve since helped train thousands of state officials, activists, and legal practitioners to effectively use the Protocol to uphold women’s rights across Africa.
Our campaign for female genital mutilation (FGM) to be viewed as a human rights violation began long before the issue reached the global agenda. Our work has inspired groundbreaking change within communities, across nations and at the highest international levels, including the adoption of a landmark UN resolution in 2012 on eliminating FGM.