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Hogan Lovells Makes Global Pledge to Help Empower Girls and Women

07 May 2015

Hogan Lovells, one of the world's largest law firms, has launched a new global initiative to address gender-based violence and to support educational and work-related opportunities for girls and women. The Empowering Girls and Women Initiative marks the firm's 5th anniversary by mobilizing the firm's people and considerable Citizenship resources to focus on helping to empower women to shape society in three specific areas:

  • Addressing gender-based violence (including domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking)
  • Enhancing educational opportunities for women and girls
  • Empowering women to shape society through fostering sustainable women-led business opportunities to increase female employment

Hogan Lovells has already identified more than 25 local, national, and international nonprofits and other organizations with which to partner in order to tackle these crucial issues (see Notes to Editors).

The firm is also seeking other new partnerships and opportunities across all strands of its Citizenship efforts, including Pro Bono, Community Investment, Diversity, Environment, and Touch global giving.

Hogan Lovells' new Initiative builds on its existing significant work in this area. Some examples of the firm's current efforts include:

  • Working to support women-led start-up businesses in developing countries
  • Securing compensation and other relief for victims of trafficking, rape, and other violent crime.
  • Representing girls and women seeking asylum or refuge in the United States
  • Championing the rights of girls and women to play sports in South Africa

Nicholas Cheffings, Chair of Hogan Lovells, said:

"As a global organization that recognizes and supports the contributions of women to society and business, Hogan Lovells embraces the opportunity to be a role model and agent for change for gender equality. We want to play a role in narrowing the gender gap, which has negatively affected the economic, social, and political position of girls and women."

"Our Empowering Girls and Women Initiative, launched as we celebrate Hogan Lovells' 5th anniversary, takes our Global Citizenship Policy that supports every member of our firm to contribute at least 25 hours of services each year, one step further. Our work with world-class NGOs will mobilize and energize that commitment."

Jane Carter, Director, Coaching for Hope added:

"Coaching for Hope really values the partnership we have enjoyed with Hogan Lovells over a number of years as it adds real value to our work on the ground.  Being able to provide our coaches and partner organizations with a thoroughly researched legal framework within which they can work genuinely empowers the powerless and gives a voice to people who are not always heard."

Rosemary Martin, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Vodafone, commented:

"I am sure I will not be your only client in being very pleased to see Hogan Lovells engaging on these matters that are important not just for women, but for the whole of our society. There are plenty of negative forces pushing society towards some bad scenarios, which makes countervailing forces for good more important than ever."

Meg Brindle, PhD, Director of Education, Light Years IP, enthused:

"We share the enthusiasm about the Hogan Lovells' partnership model and believe that other firms could and should emulate for the betterment of our planet. […] At Hogan Lovells we find a partnership characterized by caring engagement at the highest levels from managing partners to junior levels, and up to senior levels. […] The Hogan Lovells team working on legal structures for the Maasai IP and the Ugandan women's import company are an integral part of a long-term strategy."

According to Andrew Devenport, CEO of Youth Business International:

"Youth Business International has benefited greatly from Hogan Lovells' support over the last decade, giving legal advice and guidance to young entrepreneurs and those around the world who support them. The focus on women-led startups is an important one, and with Hogan Lovells, we can ensure that more women entrepreneurs in Uganda, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are able to fulfill their potential."

Wendy Young, President, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), praised:

"Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is honored to be part of Hogan Lovells' ambitious Empowering Girls and Women Initiative, and grateful for the firm's assistance in ensuring that unaccompanied migrant girl survivors of sexual and gender-based violence receive the protection they need and deserve. Hogan Lovells' initiative clearly demonstrates the firm's commitment to the most vulnerable and to expanding opportunities to advance real gender equality."

Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino commented:

"An estimated 21 million victims, the majority of them women and girls, are trapped in modern slavery, exploited for sex or labor in the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world. We are excited to be partnering with Hogan Lovells, expanding our efforts to develop practical policy solutions to end impunity for traffickers and dismantle the business of human trafficking."

According to Jeanne Smoot, Tahirih Justice Center Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy:

"Leveraging pro bono resources from leading law firms like Hogan Lovells is crucial to our ability to represent more immigrant women and girls seeking protection from violence in the United States. But pro bono help is also critical to mounting the kind of groundbreaking, landscape-transforming legal reform and advocacy initiative that we're undertaking to tackle forced marriage as a domestic human rights problem in the United States, a threat that few people realize thousands of women and girls may face each year. Hogan Lovells' partnership will be instrumental to our efforts to end forced marriage in the U.S. and better protect and support survivors, and we are very grateful for this opportunity."

AIR Coalition Executive Director Kathy Doan stated:

"CAIR Coalition is proud to be part of this new chapter in Hogan Lovells' long history of commitment to access to justice in the greater Washington, D.C. area and eager to see the fruits of this new partnership in our ongoing efforts to hold up the dignity and value of the lives of women and girls in immigration detention."

Jenny Brody, Co-Executive Director of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, observed:

"Hogan Lovells lawyers are invaluable members of our team, representing domestic violence victims in protection orders cases and providing legal advice at our walk-in clinic.  Our clients greatly benefit from the skill and dedication Hogan Lovells lawyers bring to their pro bono work on behalf of abused women."

Bill Drayton, founder and CEO of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, said:

"The Empowering Girls and Women Initiative launched by Hogan Lovells is a critically important commitment. We are very grateful for the partnership which will strengthen Ashoka's work globally supporting girls and women participating in social enterprise training and provide the legal tools and guidance to support these enterprises."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Hogan Lovells has announced its plan to partner with the following organizations:

Anti-Trafficking and Labor Exploitation Unit: ATLEU is a newly established charity providing legal representation to victims of trafficking and labor exploitation. It assists victims to obtain safety, recovery and redress. Hogan Lovells will partner with ATLEU to represent victims in legal proceedings, participate in research studies, and provide mentoring, secretarial, and organizational support.

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public: Ashoka first popularized the modern social entrepreneurship movement and has built the largest global social entrepreneurship fellowship program since being founded by Bill Drayton in 1980. Ashoka will partner with Hogan Lovells to help develop the curriculum for its new global Business and Social Enterprise (HL BaSE) training program for new attorneys in the United States and to help identify social enterprises in need of pro bono legal and other assistance.

Barefoot College: Since its inception, the long-term objective of the Barefoot College has been to work with marginalized, exploited, and impoverished rural poor, living on less than US$1 per day, and lift them over the poverty line with dignity and self respect. Hogan Lovells will provide intellectual property, corporate and tax advice to Barefoot College and expand the project to Zanzibar, South Sudan, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Tanzania.

Business In The Community: This business-led, issue-focused charity has more than 30 years' experience of mobilizing business. Business In The Community offers a number of practical ways for businesses to work together and take action to help tackle some of the key issues facing society. It provides a range of services, practical guidance, and creative solutions that help businesses review, improve, measure, and report. The partnership will assist girls in improving their education and access to traditionally non-female employment.

CAIR Coalition: For more than a decade, Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition has worked collaboratively with community groups, pro bono attorneys, volunteers, and immigrants from the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland to ensure that all immigrants are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect for their human and civil rights. Hogan Lovells will partner with CAIR Coalition to develop and implement programs designed to combat the disparate harm caused during detention to the physical, mental, emotional, and legal well being of immigrant women and girls.

Calvary Women's Services: Calvary Women's Services offers housing, health, employment and education programs that empower homeless women in Washington, D.C. to change their lives. Hogan Lovells will partner with Calvary Women's Services in connection with its "Step Up DC" program, which presents an innovative approach to connect homeless women to employment opportunities.

Coaching For Hope: Coaching for Hope is an innovative program that uses football (soccer) to create better futures for young people living in some of the most disadvantaged communities around the world. Hogan Lovells will work with the organization to create a booklet for use by coaches and volunteers in educating women and girls in Burkina Faso about female genital cutting.

DC Volunteer Lawyers Project: DCVLP creates, supports, and utilizes a network of volunteer lawyers to provide high-quality, pro bono legal services to low-income individuals in the District of Columbia who are domestic violence victims, at-risk children, and have other urgent family law needs. Hogan Lovells will work with DCVLP on a variety of projects to ensure the safety of domestic violence survivors, including direct representation and policy advocacy.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School: EGA is a vibrant learning community of 900 girls aged 11 to16 from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Hogan Lovells will work directly with the girls to educate, inspire, and inform them about their futures.

Fair Vote: FairVote advances systemic electoral reform to achieve a fully participatory and truly representative democracy that respects every vote and every voice in every election. Hogan Lovells will partner with FairVote to support Representation 2020, an initiative to raise awareness of the under-representation of women in elected office, to strengthen coalitions that support measures to increase women's representation, and to highlight the often overlooked structural barriers to achieving gender parity in U.S. elections.

Girl Rising: Girl Rising is a global campaign for girls' education that seeks to change the way the world values girls. Hogan Lovells will provide corporate, tax, compliance, and employment advice to this organization working to ensure that every girl has the right to go to school and the opportunity to reach her full potential.

Human Rights First:  For more than 35 years, Human Rights First has built bipartisan coalitions and teamed with frontline activists and lawyers to tackle global challenges that demand American leadership. Hogan Lovells will partner with Human Rights First on an initiative focused on disrupting the business of human trafficking by increasing the risk, and diminishing the profits, for perpetrators.

Homeless Advocacy Project of Philadelphia: HAP exists to meet the legal and advocacy needs of homeless individuals and families in Philadelphia. Hogan Lovells will partner with HAP to hold legal clinics at a HAP sponsored shelter that serves women and their children.

Immigration Equality: Immigration Equality's expert legal team represents LGBT and HIV-positive asylum seekers, detainees, and binational couples who are fighting for safety, fair treatment, and freedom. Hogan Lovells will partner with Immigration Equality in addressing abuse against transgender women in the immigration detention system.

Kids in Need of Defense: KIND provides lawyers for children who arrive in the U.S. alone, advocates for policies that protect the rights of these children, and helps those who cannot stay in the United States reintegrate safely in their home countries. Hogan Lovells will partner with KIND on an initiative focusing on the protection of migrant girls in Central America and Mexico through advocacy informed by research, and the provision of direct representation of unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings.

Light Years IP: This organization is dedicated to alleviating poverty by assisting developing country producers to gain ownership of their intellectual property and to use the IP to increase their export income and improve the security of that income. Hogan Lovells will partner with Light Years IP to offer legal advice in connection with a project designed to encourage women to own their own cooperative and own more of the supply chain, with their own import company in London.

Malala Fund: The Malala Fund empowers girls through quality secondary education to achieve their potential and inspire positive change in their communities. Hogan Lovells will assist the Malala Fund on a variety of corporate, tax, and other matters related to its international operations.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: RAINN is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. It created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country and operates the Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. Hogan Lovells will partner with RAINN to research and expand a comprehensive, user-friendly database on a broad spectrum of sexual assault issues and collaborate on both legislative and technology initiatives.

Sanctuary for Families: Sanctuary for Families advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence. Hogan Lovells will partner with Sanctuary for Families to combat gender-based abuse through a comprehensive study analyzing issues related to civil redress for trafficking victims. The firm will also assist survivors with work-related skills and provide crisis kits.

SPRING Accelerator: The Spring Accelerator Project is a pioneering business accelerator that supports ventures whose products and services improve the lives of adolescent girls, with a goal to help early-stage ventures reach 200,000 adolescent girls living in poverty with innovative products and services that will improve and change the way they live. Partnering with the Nike Foundation and other organizations, Hogan Lovells will support the Spring Accelerator Project by participating in the application review and selection process, as well as training and mentoring the selected business leaders.

Start Small, Think Big: The organization helps low-income individuals build thriving businesses to increase their personal financial security and stimulate economic activity in underserved New York City communities. Hogan Lovells will host clinics to provide advice in one on one consultation sessions with female small-business owners.

St Luke's Community Centre: This charity provides an exciting range of services and facilities, making inner-city London a better place to live, work, learn, and play. Hogan Lovells will focus on families living in food poverty and elderly women struggling with communication due to language and technology barriers.

Tahirih Justice Center: Tahirih Justice Center is a national, nonprofit organization that protects immigrant women and girls in the United States who refuse to be victims of gender-based violence. The organization provides holistic legal services and advocacy in courts, communities, and Congress to create a world where women and girls enjoy equality and live in safety and with dignity. By partnering with more than 1,800 pro bono attorneys across the nation, Tahirih has been able to serve nearly 17,000 women and children seeking protection from rape, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, human trafficking, honor crimes, forced marriage, and other forms of violence since its founding in 1997. Hogan Lovells will partner with Tahirih on a policy initiative aimed at ending forced marriages in the United States and will provide direct representation to asylum seekers.

UnLtd Big Venture Challenge: UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom and offers the largest such network in the world. Hogan Lovells will partner with the organization to support women-led social enterprises through direct representation and an evidence-based assessment of access to social finance.

Youth Business International: Youth Business International helps young people to start and grow their own business and create employment. Hogan Lovells will provide legal advice and mentoring to support Youth Business International affiliates around the world with their strategic objective to support female entrepreneurship in Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uganda.

 
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