We’re a diverse coalition of women’s rights advocates, scholars, lawyers, frontline practitioners, and organizations in more than 125 nations.
“How do I hold States accountable if there is no specific legally binding instrument on violence against women?” – former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Rashida Manjoo, 2012; Every Woman Advisor
Concerned about the lack of accountability on violence against women and the daily headlines on this violence worldwide, a group of women’s rights activists met at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights on June 3, 2013 to discuss the need for a treaty.
The meeting was pivotal. The advocates at the table—a global group that included forced marriage expert Vidya Sri, women’s rights activist Lisa Shannon, and human rights expert Charlie Clements—agreed that a treaty on violence against women and girls would close the gap in the legal framework, leading to better protection for women worldwide.
Lisa and Vidya agreed to lead the effort and spent two years reaching out to women’s rights activists around the world to build a global working group. Advocates working in a wide range of areas, from women’s empowerment and poverty elimination, to legal status and the rights of widows, indigenous people, and others, came together to launch Every Woman Treaty in 2015 under its original name, Everywoman Everywhere.
With Vidya and Lisa’s leadership, the Working Group spent the next three years laying the foundation for a treaty. They grew the group’s membership to 127 experts representing every region of the world—a groundbreaking and unprecedented level of women’s leadership and global inclusion in treaty development. And conducted extensive policy work on treaty development.
In late 2018, Every Woman Treaty pivoted from its development phase to the public campaign: a global initiative to amplify the call for a treaty to end violence against women and girls.
We envision a world where every woman and girl everywhere can realize her human right to a life free from violence.
In the face of the global culture of impunity on violence against women, the Every Woman Treaty mainstreams the right to a life free from violence for every woman and girl, everywhere. We work to eliminate this violence worldwide by mobilizing a global movement and advancing a treaty to prevent violence against women and girls.
1. We believe every woman and girl has a right to a life free from violence.
2. We believe that the massive gaps that exist in the legal framework and global implementation on violence against women must be addressed.
3. We believe a global treaty on violence against women violence against women will be a substantial step forward in protecting women and girls from violence.
4. We believe effective policy grows from real-world expertise of human rights practitioners and survivors.
5. We believe in engaging a diverse community in the effort to end violence against women and girls.
6. We believe men and boys must play a critical leadership role in ending violence against women and girls.
7. We believe in a foundation of rigorous research and policy analysis.
8. We believe success is founded on respect, professionalism, listening, hard work, creativity, honesty, and relentlessness.
Lisa Shannon, MPA, HonPhD, Cofounder, CEO. Lisa is a women’s rights activist and scholar who has worked in women’s rights since 1991. Her first job out of college was in domestic violence shelters in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She has conducted field research on gender in India, Russia, Somalia, Iraq, Guatemala, Kenya, and Congo. She is known for initiating campaigns in the international women’s movement, including founding Run for Congo Women and cofounding the first sexual violence crisis center in Mogadishu, Somalia. She is the author of the award-winning A Thousand Sisters (Seal Press, 2010) and Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen (Public Affairs, 2015). Lisa was a Fellow of the Carr Center for Human Rights (2013–2014), and a Gleitsman Fellow with the Center for Public Leadership (2012–2013) at the Harvard Kennedy School. She holds an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Georgetown University (2013).
Vidya Sri, MBA, Cofounder, President. Vidya is a women’s rights activist, scholar, and leading expert on forced marriage. As the founder of Gangashakti, an organization that raises awareness and conducts research and training on forced marriage, she conducted groundbreaking research that brought the reality of forced marriage in the United States to the surface, giving women access to resources for the first time. She was a Human Rights Policy Fellow at the Carr Center, Harvard Kennedy School (2013–2016), where she led the Initiative on Violence Against Women, which examined the legal and implementation gaps in the global framework on violence against women, the groundwork for the Every Woman Treaty. Prior to women’s rights work, Vidya was a vice president in the banking industry, where she led teams of 150 people, and managed assets exceeding $1 billion.
Charlie Clements, MD/MPH, Cofounder, Steering Committee Member. Charlie is a veteran human rights activist. He represented Physicians for Human Rights during the International Campaign to Ban Landmines signing and at its Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. He has served as Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, and faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. As a physician working in El Salvador during the civil war, he cofounded and led the Salvadoran Medical Relief Fund and Pax Americas, a political action committee, and led a number of Congressional fact-finding missions in Central America during the 1980s. He is the author of Witness to War, his account of that experience (Bantam, 1984).
Campaign Steering Committee
Hala Aldosari, PhD, Middle East/USA
Charlie Clements, MD, USA
Ilwad Elman, Somalia
Ghada Hammam, Egypt
Caroline Herewini, New Zealand
Simi Kamal, MA, Pakistan
Meera Khanna, India
Eleanor Nwadinobi, MD, Nigeria
Marina Pisklákova-Parker, Russia
Francisco Rivera, JD, USA/Puerto Rico
Global Working Group
Gladys Mbuyah Luku, Country Vice President, Federation of Women Lawyers Cameroon, Cameroon
Marie Nyombo Zaina, Director, National Network for the Defense of Women’s Rights, DRC
Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté, Cofounder, The Inter-African Committee On Traditional Practices, Ethiopia
Charity Binka, Executive Director, Women Media and Change, Ghana
Ruth Anyango Aura, Chairperson, Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya, Kenya
Gaby Razafindrakoto, Coordinator, Federation for the Promotion of Women and Children, Madagascar
Obioma Nwaorgu, President, Global Health Awareness Research Foundation, Nigeria
Eleanor Nwadinobi, President, Widows Development Organization, Nigeria
Kamilia Kura, Founder/Director, Nuba Women for Education and Development, Sudan
Alice Nenneh James, Regional Manager, ActionAid Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone
Yeabu Tholley, Statistician, Statistics Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone
Sabrina Mahtani, Executive Director, AdvocAid, Sierra Leone
Fartuun Adan, Founder, Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, Somalia
Bonita Meyersfeld, Director, Centre for Applied Legal Studies, South Africa
Karen Stefiszyn, Program Manager, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Anyieth D’Awol, Cofounder, Citizens for Peace and Justice, South Sudan
Reem Abbas, Regional Officer, Strategic Initiative for Women, Sudan
Zahra Abdalmien Mohamed, Department Head, Ministry of Social Affairs, Sudan
Gcebile Ndlovu, Public Health Practitioner, Swaziland
Laura Nyirinkindi, Director, Pro Initiatives Agency, Uganda
Anne Gamurorwa, Executive Director, Communication for Development Foundation, Uganda
Martha Tholanah, Director, Community Livelihoods and Enterprise Development, Zimbabwe
Virginia Muwanigwa, Gender Expert, Zimbabwe
Ricky Nathanson, Founder, Trans* Research Education Advocacy and Training, Zimbabwe
Talent Jumo, Founder/Director, Katswe Sistahood, Zimbabwe
Manizha Naderi, Executive Director, Women for Afghan Women, Afghanistan
Azra Jafari, former Mayor, Nili, Afghanistan, Afghanistan
Saira Rahman Khan, Associate Professor, School of Law, BRAC University, Bangladesh
Ferdous Ara Begum, Gender Specialist, Former CEDAW Committee Member, Bangladesh
Taskin Fahmina, Gender Expert, Odhikar, Bangladesh
Sopheap Ros, Founder/Executive Director, Gender and Development for Cambodia, Cambodia
Xiying Wang, Associate Professor, School of Social Development, Beijing Normal University, China
Anne Scully-Hill, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Amy Barrow, Founding Member, Centre for Rights and Justice, Chinese University, Hong Kong
Puja Kapai, Director, Centre for Comparative and Public Law, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Meera Khanna, Executive Vice President, Guild of Service, India
Angana Chatterji, Cochair, Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, University of California, Berkeley, India
Seemantinee Khot, Board Member, Paryay, India
Shafiqur Rahman Khan, Founder, Empower People, India
Keerty Nakray, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, India
Munara Beknazarova, Director, Open Line, Kyrgyzstan
Enkhjargal Davaasuren, National Director, MonFemnet, Mongolia
Lily Thapa, Founding Chairperson, Women for Human Rights & Lecturer, University of Nepal, Nepal
Simi Kamal, Chief of Party, Gender Equity Program, Aurat Foundation, Pakistan
Saad Rasool, Legal Expert, Faculty, Lahore University of Management and Sciences, Pakistan
Damcelle Torres-Cortes, Chairperson, WeDpro Board of Trustees, Philippines
Sheena Kanwar, Support Services Manager, AWARE, Singapore
Azra Abdul Cader, Development Expert, The Asian Pacific Research and Resource Centre for Women, Sri Lanka
Dushiyanthani Pillai, Journalist, photojournalist, Sri Lanka
Suntariya Muanpawong, Chief Judge, Supreme Court of Thailand, Thailand
Nadejda Atayeva, President, Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Uzbekistan
Albena Koycheva, Coordinator, Womens’ Human Rights Training Institute, Bulgaria
Sanja Sarnavka, President, Be Active Be Emancipate, Croatia
Martha Jean Baker, former Vice President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, England
Margaret Owen, Founder/Director, Widows for Peace through Democracy, England
Carol Mann, President FemAid and Women in War, France
Orit Sulitzeanu, Executive Director, Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, Israel
Lois Herman, Founder/Coordinator, The Women’s UN Report Network, Italy
Medea Khmelidze, Program Manager, Georgian Harm Reduction Network, Lithuania
Ronagh McQuigg, Lecturer, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
Katarzyna Sękowska-Kozłowska, Senior Researcher, Poznan Human Rights Centre, Poland
Marina Pisklákova-Parker, Founder, National Center for the Prevention of Violence, Russia
Mo Hume, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow, Scotland
Violeta Momcilovic, Gender Expert, Serbia
Sandra Johansson, Women’s Rights Coordinator, Alianza por la Solidaridad, Spain
Sagrario Monedero, Gender Expert, Spain
Angela Hefti, Associate Director, Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation, Switzerland
Jackie Jones, President, European Women Lawyers Association, UK
Latin America and the Caribbean
Viola van Bogaert, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Aruba, Aruba
Silvia Vega, Gender Expert, Instituto de Formación Femenina Integral, Bolivia
Maria De Lourdes Alcantara, Expert, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Brazil
Rodrigo Jimenez, Director, Fundación Justicio y Genero, Costa Rica
Yasmín Silvia Portales Machado, Activist, Writer, Cuba
Alina Ramirez, Gender Expert, Dominican Republic
Sandra López, Coordinator, Gamma Foundation, Ecuador
America Romualdo, Director, Las Dignas, El Salvador
Claudia Herrmannsdorfer – Practitioner, El Salvador
Jocie Philistin, Executive Director, Kofaviv, Haiti
Cristina Hardaga, Strategic and Political Engagement Coordinator, JASS, Mexico
Alejandra Ancheita, Founder/Executive Director, The Project of Economic, Social, and
Cultural Rights, Mexico
Reyna Rodriguez Palacios, National Coordinator, Network of Women Against Violence, Nicaragua
Francisco Rivera, Founding Director, International Human Rights Clinic, Santa Clara Law
School, USA/Latin America
The Middle East and North Africa
Ghada Hammam, Country Program Manager, Diakonia, Egypt
Hassan Khani, Founder, International Peace Foundation for Culture Promotion of Human Rights Observance, Iran
Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Chair, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Afaf Jabiri, Founder, Jordanian Women’s Union Aid Centre and Shelter, Jordan
Nabila Hamza, President, Foundation for the Future, Jordan
Jinan Usta, President, Lebanese Society of Family Medicine, Lebanon
Dr. Alaa Murabit, Ashoka Fellow, Founder, Voice of Libyan Women, Libya
Stephanie Willman Bordat, Practitioner, Morocco
Saida Kouzzi, Founding Partner, Mobilizing for Rights Associates, Morocco
Fadoua Bakhadda, Executive Director, The Association Marocaine de Planification Familiale, Morocco
Fatima Sadiqi, Scholar, Gender Expert, Writer, Morocco
Hala Aldosari, Founder/Director, Aminah, Middle East/USA
Khedija Arfaoui, Founding Member, Associationdes Femmes Tunisienne, Tunisia
Huda Alawi, Director, Women’s Research and Training Center, University of Aden, Yemen
Yolanda Muñoz Gonzalez, Gender and Disabilities Rights Expert, Canada
Jo-Anne Dusel, Coordinator, Provincial Association of Transition Houses & Services of
Laurie Tannous, Attorney and Expert in Human Trafficking, Canada
Jeanne Sarson, Founder, Persons Against Non-State Torture, Canada
Lise Martin, Director, Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters, Canada
Peg Hacskaylo, Executive Director, District Alliance for Safe Housing, USA
Denise Kindschi Gosselin, Associate Professor, Criminal Justice, Western New England
Cris Sullivan, Director, Research Consortium on GBV, Michigan State University, USA
Lindsay Robertson, Founding Director, International Human Rights Clinic, University of Oklahoma, USA
Eleanor Solo, Activist, Attorney, USA
Judy Lear, Former National Chair, Gray Panthers, USA
David L. Richards, Cofounder, CIRI Human Rights Data Project, USA
Denise Scotto, Founding Chair, New York State Bar Association International Section’s Women’s Rights Committee, USA
Ratchneewan Ross, Director, International Initiatives, Kent State College of Nursing, USA
Conchita Sarnoff, Executive Director, Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, USA
David Wofford, Vice President, Public-Private Partnerships, Meridian, USA
Stephanie Kennedy, Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut School of Social Work, USA
Dorinda Cox, Director, Inspire Change, Australia
Margie Charlesworth, Board Member, Australian Women Against Violence Alliances, Australia
Annie Cossins, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Australia
Natalie Wade, Chairperson, Australian Lawyer’s for Human Rights’ Disability Rights
Ruby Awa, Founding Member, Women’s Rights Action Movement, Fiji
Vandhna Narayan, Director, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Fiji
Tevita Seruilumi, VAW Expert, Attorney, Fiji
Hazel Hape, Indigenous Expert, New Zealand
Caroline Herewini, Chief Executive, National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, New Zealand
Petra Butler, Associate Professor, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Jackie Blue, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, New Zealand
Savina Nongebatu, Manager, People with Disabilities Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands
Truffy Maginnis, Project Worker, Health and Community Services Commissioner’s Office, Australia
Expert Committee Members for treaty content
TYPES OF VIOLENCE: Simi Kamal (and Zainab), Pakistan; Marina Pisklákova-Parker, Russia; Ghada Hammam, Egypt; Katarzyna Sękowska-Kozłowska, Poland; Virginia Muwanigwa, Zimbabwe; Tanyi Christian, Cameroon; Cristina Ricci, Australia; Ghada Hammam, Egypt; Uuree Uuriintsolmon, Mongolia; Sopheap Ros, Cambodia; Sheena Kanwar, Singapore; Adolf Awuku Bekoe, Ghana; Valerie Khan, Pakistan; Pei Yuxin, China; Taskin Fahmina, Bangladesh; Monica McWilliams, Ireland; Jeanne Sarson, Canada; Peg Hacskaylo, USA; Dr. Denise Kindschi Gosselin, USA; Khedija Arfaoui, Tunisia; Katarzyna Sękowska-Kozłowska, Poland; Kelly Jones, Burundi / USA; Angela Hefti, Switzerland; Hauwa Shekarau, Nigeria; Anyieth D’Awol, South Sudan; Manizha Naderi, Afghanistan; Virginia Muwanigwa, Zimbabwe; Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, Nigeria; Joanna Smętek, Poland; Gaby Razafindrakoto, Madagascar; Reena Tandon, Canada; Laurie Tannous, Canada; Tanyi Christian, Cameroon; Jo-Anne Dusel, Canada; Shawn MacDonald, USA; Michal Sela, Israel; Orit Sulitzeanu, Israel; Carolyn Rodehau, USA; David Wofford, USA.
VULNERABLE GROUPS: Violeta Momcilovic, Serbia; Alice Nenneh James, Sierra Leone; Debbie Gross, Israel; Reem Abbas, Sudan; Stephanie Baric , USA ; Zainab Umu Kamara, Sierra Leone; Sandra Johansson, Spain; Reem Abbas, Sudan; Heidi Guldbaek, Australia; Caroline Herewini, New Zealand; Hazel Hape, New Zealand; Ruth Howlett, New Zealand; Anne Todd, New Zealand; Dorinda Cox, Australia; Kelly Stoner, USA; Kamilia Kura, Sudan; Kabann Kabananukye, Uganda; Yolanda Munoz Gonzalez, Canada; Martha Jean Baker, England; Martha Tholanah, Zimbabwe; Gcebile Ndlovu, Swaziland; Talent Jumo, Zimbabwe; Ricky Nathanson, Zimbabwe; Erika Castellanos, Belize; Miriam Banda/Kateka, Zambia; Truffy Maginnis, Adelaide; Margie Charlesworth, Australia; Savina Nongebatu, Solomon Islands; Yolanda Munoz Gonzalez, Canada; Truffy Maginnis, Australia; Stephanie Ortoleva, USA; Cristina Ricci, Australia.
LIFE STAGES: Obioma Nwaorgu, Nigeria; Azra Abdul Cader, Sri Lanka; Munara Beknazarova, Kyrgyzstan; Fadoua Bakhadda, Morocco; Anu Radha, India; Safeer Ullah Khan, Pakistan; Keerty Nakray, India; Stephanie Kennedy, USA; Margaret Owen, England; Judy Lear, USA; Patricia Brownell, USA; Eleanor Nwadinobi, Nigeria; Helen Hamlin, USA; Meera Khanna, India; Lois Herman, Italy; Asmaa Al Ameen, Iraq; Heather Ibraham-Leathers, USA; Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Nigeria; Aabha Chaudhury, India; Sara Winkowski, USA; Ferdous Ara Begum, Bangladesh.
IMPLEMENTATION: Francisco Rivera, USA/Latin America; Ronagh McQuigg, Ireland; Stephanie Willman Bordat, Morocco; Laura Nyirinkindi, Uganda; Gulnara Mammadova, Azerbaijan; Vanessa Bettinson, UK; Shazia Choudhry, UK; Rhona Modesto San Pedro, Philippines; Amy Barrow, Hong Kong; Petra Butler, New Zealand; Tevita Seruilumi, Fiji; Claire Hammerton, Australia; Felicity Gerry, Australia; Karen Willis, Australia; Joyce Hewett, Jamaica; Natalie Wade, Australia; Dinah Adiko, Ghana; David L. Richards, USA; Cristina Ricci, Australia.
PREVENTION: Gladys Mbuyah Luku, Cameroon; Medea Khmelidze, Georgia; Margaret Nwagbo, Nigeria; Manisha Desai, USA; Zynab Binta Senesie, Sierra Leone; Lu Pin, China; Vanessa Coria, Mexico; Suntariya Muanpawong, Thailand; Hala Aldosari, Middle East/USA; Susan Harris Rimmer, Australia; Lisa Hoffman, USA; Sisi Liu, Hong Kong; Ann-Marie Loebel, Australia; Heidi Guldbaek, Australia.
Core Platform Committee
Sara Andrews, USA; Ruth Anyango Aura, Kenya; Stephanie Willman Bordat, Morocco; Susan Burke, USA; Petra Butler, New Zealand; Mari Davtyan, Russia; Angela Hefti, Switzerland; Jackie Jones, UK; Saira Rahman Khan, Bangladesh; Morissanda Kouyaté, Ethiopia; Albena Koycheva, Bulgaria; Ronagh McQuigg, Northern Ireland; Stephanie Ortoleva, USA; Francisco Rivera, USA/Latin America and the Caribbean; Anne Scully-Hill, Denmark; Tevita Seruilumi, Fiji.
Research Team/Every Woman Administration
Abir Ahmed, India; Lindsay Apperson, USA; Carla Benton, USA; Millicent Bogert, USA; Karolina Deuth, USA; Taylor Dutch, USA; Veronique Fourment, USA; Arianna Frontera, Italy; Maria Gargano, USA; Sasha Grossman, USA; Meredith Gusky, USA; Yogitra Jothi, UK; Nancy McLennan, UK; Anna Nikoltchev, France; Caitlin O’Quinn, USA; Maria Pachon, USA; Seyoung Park, USA; Matt Spangler, USA; Arianna Stefencavage, USA; Caitlin Stone, Australia; Maddalena Zarcone, USA.