Achieving equality in the law is a long term project, however it results in long term change. Quick fixes do not deliver equality. Eradicating discriminatory laws and policies is a costly exercise, but it is an investment that delivers excellent returns. It means that women are empowered to live lives characterized by freedom of choice, and the right to do and be anything they want.
Unfortunately, upholding human rights law and achieving equality is expensive. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to address one discriminatory law responsible for women’s inequality, for example, the legal impunity for marital rape.
The lawyers that work with the equality effect, work on a pro bono basis, as do the other members of the equality teams – only their costs of participation are covered. Only 8% of the equality effect’s budget is directed towards organizational overhead and administrative costs; the remainder of the budget supports the substantive work of the equality effect.
Public legal education, law reform and litigation are not cheap ways to bring about change, but this kind of equality work is the only way to get at the root of the discrimination that violates the human rights of women and girls.
We need your financial support to achieve change that will help women and girls across Africa achieve equality – all donations are welcome, and your generosity will help to achieve equality faster.
Your donations will be directed towards specific projects targeting discrimination relating to violence against women and girls, the feminization of HIV/AIDS, and women’s property rights. Current equality effect projects include: i) addressing the legal impunity for marital rape; ii) the enforcement of rape laws to protect women and girls from treatment as property under the law; ii) the enforcement of laws to prohibit widow rape; iii) the enforcement of laws to stop the rape of little girls; iv) the reconciliation of customary law and formal law to ensure the protection of the human rights of women and girls.
There are many other experiences of discrimination that demand urgent attention, for example, the enforcement of laws that prohibit female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and witch burnings; the introduction of laws to allow women to own property and inherit property; the elimination of practices that prohibit girls from attending school and that allow for the sexual abuse of girls in schools. The equality effect receives many requests for legal support – with more resources we can expand programming to target additional experiences of discrimination.