Every Woman Treaty is a campaign for a global treaty to end violence against women and girls. We’re a global coalition of more than 1,700 women’s rights advocates, lawyers, scholars, and organizations in 128 countries working for a safer world for women and girls worldwide.
“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 Policy 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.