Our Mission

We’re dedicated to both advancing equality, and providing equal protection of the law for all Commonwealth citizens – especially women, girls and LGBT individuals.

To achieve this, we’re working with change makers across the Commonwealth who seek to reform laws that discriminate and fail to protect women and girls and LGBT people. We have three primary strands of activity. Below you’ll find simple summaries about each strand and see how each one reinforces and supports the other.

3 ways we’re achieving this:

01.Supporting Civil Society

Ensuring that local and regional civil society can productively engage in the legislative reform process…

02.Building the Case for Reform

Engaging with government officials, lawmakers, and political leaders to build the case for reform of discriminatory laws…

03.Providing Technical Legal Assistance

Providing expertise and technical resources to help deliver legislative reform and strengthen legislative capacity…

01.Supporting Civil Society

Ensuring that local and regional civil society can productively engage in the legislative reform process…

02.Building the Case for Reform

Engaging with government officials, lawmakers, and political leaders to build the case for reform of discriminatory laws…

03.Providing Technical Legal Assistance

Providing expertise and technical resources to help deliver legislative reform and strengthen legislative capacity…

Supporting Civil Society

01

Ensuring that local and regional civil society can productively engage in the legislative reform process by:

  • Helping to build more cohesive, inclusive and intersectional national movements and advocacy campaigns
  • Working with local civil society and community based organisations to build an evidence base for legal advocacy
  • Enhancing legal and policy capacity so community organisations and local activists can engage meaningfully in legislative reform processes and with domestic law and policy makers

Strand 1

The EJA aims to support local civil society in building cohesive and inclusive movements and shared legal advocacy priorities.

To achieve this, we provide capacity-building and financial assistance across a selection of Commonwealth countries to support the creation of safe spaces for women, LGBT and youth activists to convene and collaborate and build equality movements advocating for change.

We work with project partners to engage effectively in policymaking processes and legal reform initiatives and help them build wider national and regional networks to push for change. And we help national movements build an evidence base for legal advocacy by commissioning a range of context-specific research across the Commonwealth into the barriers and discriminatory policies facing women, LGBT people and youth.

In addition to our work at the country level, we conduct regional capacity-building workshops each year to legally empower civil society to influence governments, provide an opportunity for knowledge exchange and networking, and to showcase good practice in legal advocacy initiatives from across the region and wider Commonwealth.

Supporting Civil Society

Ensuring that local and regional civil society can productively engage in the legislative reform process by:

  • Helping to build more cohesive, inclusive and intersectional national movements and advocacy campaigns
  • Working with local civil society and community based organisations to build an evidence base for legal advocacy
  • Enhancing legal and policy capacity so community organisations and local activists can engage meaningfully in legislative reform processes and with domestic law and policy makers

Strand 1

The EJA aims to support local civil society in building cohesive and inclusive movements and shared legal advocacy priorities.

To achieve this, we provide capacity-building and financial assistance across a selection of Commonwealth countries to support the creation of safe spaces for women, LGBT and youth activists to convene and collaborate and build equality movements advocating for change.

 

We work with project partners to engage effectively in policymaking processes and legal reform initiatives and help them build wider national and regional networks to push for change. And we help national movements build an evidence base for legal advocacy by commissioning a range of context-specific research across the Commonwealth into the barriers and discriminatory policies facing women, LGBT people and youth.

In addition to our work at the country level, we conduct regional capacity-building workshops each year to legally empower civil society to influence governments, provide an opportunity for knowledge exchange and networking, and to showcase good practice in legal advocacy initiatives from across the region and wider Commonwealth.

Building the Case for Reform

02

Engaging with government officials, lawmakers, political and diplomatic leaders and oversight bodies to:

  • Build the case for reform of laws which discriminate against women and girls and LGBT people
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer dialogue among political leaders, civil society and international technical experts
  • Create a policy space to discuss challenges, opportunities and good practice in delivering reform of discriminatory laws and policies

Strand 2

The EJA aims to build networks of ‘Equality Champions’ across the Commonwealth to support legal reform initiatives and speak out in support of fairer, more equal societies.

To achieve this, we identify and support high-level official Champions across countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific and facilitate peer-to-peer dialogue and learning exchanges through Regional High-level Dialogues which take place on a quarterly basis.

We support our Champion networks with technical expertise, including briefing notes, case studies, research papers and access to international legal experts, to help members build the case for legal reform and develop policy proposals or draft bills at a national level.

In addition to this work at the national and regional levels, the EJA convenes a Pan-Commonwealth Equality Forum each year, bringing together parliamentarians, officials, lawmakers and civil society to discuss challenges and priorities in delivering reform of policies and laws that discriminate against women and girls and LGBT individuals.

Building the Case for Reform

Engaging with government officials, lawmakers, political and diplomatic leaders and oversight bodies to:

  • Build the case for reform of laws which discriminate against women and girls and LGBT people
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer dialogue among political leaders, civil society and international technical experts
  • Create a policy space to discuss challenges, opportunities and good practice in delivering reform of discriminatory laws and policies

Strand 2

The EJA aims to build networks of ‘Equality Champions’ across the Commonwealth to support legal reform initiatives and speak out in support of fairer, more equal societies.

To achieve this, we identify and support high-level official Champions across countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific and facilitate peer-to-peer dialogue and learning exchanges through Regional High-level Dialogues which take place on a quarterly basis.

 

We support our Champion networks with technical expertise, including briefing notes, case studies, research papers and access to international legal experts, to help members build the case for legal reform and develop policy proposals or draft bills at a national level.

In addition to this work at the national and regional levels, the EJA convenes a Pan-Commonwealth Equality Forum each year, bringing together parliamentarians, officials, lawmakers and civil society to discuss challenges and priorities in delivering reform of policies and laws that discriminate against women and girls and LGBT individuals.

Providing Technical Legal Assistance

03

Providing expertise and technical resources to help deliver legislative reform, including:

  • Legal research, guidance and international good practice
  • Country and thematic policy papers
  • National technical assistance programmes to support legislative and policy reviews, legislative consultation processes, Government legislative drafting capacity and to provide advice from leading international and regional legal experts

Strand 3

The EJA aims to provide direct assistance to Commonwealth Governments to support the reform of discriminatory laws or drafting of new laws where a country has gaps that fail to protect women and girls and LGBT individuals.

To achieve this, we are delivering a range of technical assistance programmes to Commonwealth Governments who have asked for support. These technical assistance programmes provide a wide range of support, from the development of legal research and policy reviews, to guidance on alignment with international and regional standards, to case studies on international good practice, and training and capacity-building on specific areas of law and legislative drafting.

To support our technical assistance programmes, we have established an ‘EJA Group of Experts’, composed of leading international legal experts, to provide advice, take part in development of key materials and engage with Commonwealth Governments to whom we are providing technical assistance.

In addition to national activities, the EJA is building a global online Resource Centre which launched in February 2019. This comprises a bespoke database providing resource, research and data on the status of women and girls and LGBT people across the world, and information on the latest legal reform developments, case law and legal advocacy initiatives across the Commonwealth. It is aimed at both Government officials and civil society representatives to disseminate expertise, knowledge and good practice around equality law, sexual offences legislation, anti-discrimination legislation, legislation and procedures to combat violence against women and girls, State accountability and monitoring frameworks and regional and international treaties.

Providing Technical Legal Assistance

Providing expertise and technical resources to help deliver legislative reform, including:

  • Legal research, guidance and international good practice
  • Country and thematic policy papers
  • National technical assistance programmes to support legislative and policy reviews, legislative consultation processes, Government legislative drafting capacity and to provide advice from leading international and regional legal experts

Strand 3

The EJA aims to provide direct assistance to Commonwealth Governments to support the reform of discriminatory laws or drafting of new laws where a country has gaps that fail to protect women and girls and LGBT individuals.

To achieve this, we are delivering a range of technical assistance programmes to Commonwealth Governments who have asked for support. These technical assistance programmes provide a wide range of support, from the development of legal research and policy reviews, to guidance on alignment with international and regional standards, to case studies on international good practice, and training and capacity-building on specific areas of law and legislative drafting.

 

To support our technical assistance programmes, we have established an ‘EJA Group of Experts’, composed of leading international legal experts, to provide advice, take part in development of key materials and engage with Commonwealth Governments to whom we are providing technical assistance.

In addition to national activities, the EJA is building a global online Resource Centre which launched in February 2019. This comprises a bespoke database providing resource, research and data on the status of women and girls and LGBT people across the world, and information on the latest legal reform developments, case law and legal advocacy initiatives across the Commonwealth. It is aimed at both Government officials and civil society representatives to disseminate expertise, knowledge and good practice around equality law, sexual offences legislation, anti-discrimination legislation, legislation and procedures to combat violence against women and girls, State accountability and monitoring frameworks and regional and international treaties.