#SHEisEmpowered: Hogan Lovells publishes impact report on tackling gender-based violence

London, 24 November 2017 – Hogan Lovells has published a report identifying the successes and impact of its global partnership with CARE International UK.

The report, published to coincide with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women tomorrow, details the three-year commitment between Hogan Lovells and CARE, which ended in December 2016. The partnership focused on tackling gender-based violence (GBV) through empowering women in grassroots communities in Afghanistan.

Hogan Lovells selected CARE as its global Touch charity partner in 2012, together forming a global advocacy project #SHEis, through which the partnership encouraged and empowered victims of GBV in Afghanistan to speak out, to contribute to the design and implementation of GBV prevention strategies, and to become local leaders in the fight against GBV. 

The report notes that the partnership addressed numerous United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including reducing poverty, promoting gender equality, creating sustainable cities and communities, and reducing inequalities. The achievement of these goals is drastically impacted by high levels of GBV, and one in three women will encounter GBV in their lifetimes. As part of the partnership, Hogan Lovells supported CARE’s work with grassroots women’s organisations including the Afghan Women’s Network and the Widows of Afghanistan for Advocacy Association (WAFAA).

Through its empowering Girls and Women initiative, the firm has also supported other GBV campaigns, including:

  • Hestia, a London-based charity which runs safe shelters for women escaping domestic violence, raising over £67,000 so far;

  • pro bono representation on behalf of domestic violence victims at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. In 2016 Hogan Lovells assisted 65 victims of GBV in the UK alone, including securing compensation of almost £300,000 for 18 victims;

  • working with the Balkans Regional Rule of Network (BRRLN) to deliver training on GBV to lawyers and civil society members in Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia and Serbia. Working with local and international experts to develop a comprehensive programme on international standards connected to domestic violence and how to obtain a domestic violence injunction;

  • created an internal Domestic Violence Policy.

Of particular satisfaction are some of the personal stories that have emerged from the partnership. In particular, that of Bib Gul, a 47-year old widow with nine children, whose involvement in WAFAA has resulted in her being the only woman who participates in elder’s council meetings in her village. She said: “Whenever I find violence within households, I try to solve it by mediation and making both sides aware of their rights and responsibilities, which I learned from the WAFAA sessions.

The partnership ensured women's voices were heard on an international stage, supporting Maryam Bibi, chief executive of South Asian grassroots women’s organisation Khwendo Kor, to speak at the first World Humanitarian Summit, organised by the United Nations. Gender-based issues – particularly the battle against GBV, was at the core of the Summit.

Commenting on the report, International Touch partner Gill McGreevy, said:

This report confirms much of what we hoped to achieve when we began this partnership four years ago. There are so many inspiring stories of the women we have helped and who are determined to continue the progress made so far. There is much work left to be done to tackle gender-based violence and to encourage the empowerment of women around the world and our work continues, but as this partnership proves, progress is possible and real.

Read the full report here.

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