The Global Campaign for Equality in Family Law (GCEFL) was launched in March 2020 as a concerted and strategic global effort to draw attention to and call for the reform of discriminatory family laws, as part of fundamental women’s rights and human rights issues.
About the Global Campaign for Equality in Family Law
We want to achieve equality for women, girls, and other marginalised groups, under laws, policies, and practices that relate to families in all their diversity, regardless of religion and culture.
We believe that governments across the world should live up to their responsibility to protect and promote the rights of women and girls within family life and law, because the reform of family law will pave the way for gender equality nationally and globally.
What we do
Attaining equality in the family is a necessity, not a choice; it is the foundation stone upon which an equal society will stand. Through a collaborative, three-tiered approach, we will:
Make equality in family law, policy, and practice a global priority by 2030.
Strengthen solidarity and collaborative action within and across regional networks and campaigns.
Support and amplify national level efforts to reform family law.
Our Coordinating Committee
GCEFL is led by a Coordinating Committee of eight leading women’s rights, human rights and faith-based organisations – Equality Now – where the Secretariat of GCEFL is currently based, Act Church of Sweden, Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM), Musawah, Muslims for Progressive Values, Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) represented by the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), Women’s Learning Partnership, and UN Women.
GCEFL in context
According to a comprehensive cross-country study published in 2019, “egalitarian reform of family law may be the most crucial precondition for empowering women economically”. But reform is moving at a glacial pace and, in some countries, has regressed over the past two decades.
In May 2020, the European Parliament Think Tank produced an in-depth analysis of Discriminatory Laws Undermining Women’s Rights, which detailed the legal reforms aiming to accelerate gender equality in the law. The report highlighted GCEFL and encouraged support for similar campaigns.
A window of opportunity is opening for global mobilisation towards ending discrimination against women in family law.
Initiatives such as the Generation Equality Forum’s five-year action plan, the approach of the UNGA Beijing +30 event in 2025 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are bringing the matter to the fore.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 5.1.1 has already identified family law as one of the four legal frameworks that must be reformed to accelerate progress for gender equality and to empower all women and girls.
This idea is echoed in UN Women’s Equality in Law for Women and Girls by 2030: a multistakeholder strategy for accelerated action report. Meanwhile, UN Women’s 2019-2020 flagship report on Progress of the World’s Women, recommends the need to establish family laws that recognise diversity and promote equality and non-discrimination.
All UN member states have committed themselves to achieving SDGs. Ensuring that families are places of equality, and are free from discrimination, is essential to this. Governments must therefore be held accountable for law reform to promote equality in the family.
GCEFL believes that through collective action we can build a global voice demanding equal rights for women and girls in all matters relating to the family.
Become a member:
Join GCEFL as a member to participate in global and regional advocacy, benefit from national level amplification, share thought leadership and expertise, and access information and resources.Join Us