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Equality Now was founded in 1992 by a group of feminists who recognized that sex discriminatory laws were a fundamental impediment to gender equality.

Despite the many progressive social and cultural movements of the second half of the 20th century, gender inequality remained embedded in the laws and policies of virtually every country.

Our founders were determined to address the systemic roots of misogyny so that every woman and girl could live safe, fearless, and free. 

“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

Over the past three decades, Equality Now has remained true to our initial commitment to eradicate sexist laws while simultaneously scaling up our organization to meet the needs of an ever-evolving women’s rights movement. We grew from a scrappy team of three lawyers in New York City to a team of over 50, with legal experts as well as development, communications, and administrative professionals located all over the world. 

January 1, 1992

New York, United States

Equality Now was founded by Jessica Neuwirth, Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, and Feryal Gharahi with a mission to use the law to protect and promote the human rights of women and girls all over the world.

January 1, 1992
January 1, 1995

Beijing, China

Equality Now attended the 4th UN Conference on Women in Beijing, where governments pledged to change or remove their existing unfair laws and make legal equality a reality.

January 1, 1995
January 1, 1999

Global

We launch our flagship publication, “Words and Deeds,” which tracks sex discriminatory laws around the world and is updated every 5 years, aiming to hold governments accountable for their commitments in the Beijing Platform for Action. 

January 1, 1999
January 1, 2000

Nairobi, Kenya

We open our second office in Nairobi, Kenya, enabling us to expand our work across the African continent

January 1, 2000
January 1, 2003

London, United Kingdom

We open our London Office, increasing our engagement with the Council of Europe and other multilateral human rights mechanisms.

January 1, 2003
January 1, 2004

Africa

We found the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) with our partners to help create a cohesive women’s rights movement across the African continent

January 1, 2004
January 1, 2008

Global

We launch the Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund to set precedents with the case of one girl that will have a broad impact on thousands of girls just like her, advocating for better laws and policies to protect girls.

January 1, 2008
January 1, 2018

Beirut, Lebanon

We open our Beirut office, enabling us to expand our global campaign to reform Family Law

January 1, 2018
January 1, 2019

Finland

Equality Now is awarded the Finland International Gender Prize by the Government of Finland

January 1, 2019

Learn more about the impact of our work to make equality reality around the world.