We are one organisation in an ecosystem working to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women and girls worldwide.

About Us

We believe the way we operate in the world matters. How we work is as important as what we do.

Two women with different racial backgrounds chatting about women's rights

The Equality Institute (EQI) is a global feminist agency working to end violence against women and girls.

A man in a wheelchair talking about inclusion and representation with a young Black woman

Our vision is a world in which diversity is celebrated, all people are respected, and power and resources are shared.

Our purpose is to advance gender equality and support violence prevention efforts to thrive in a rapidly changing world – through research, creative communications and global leadership.

Founded in 2015 by Dr. Emma Fulu, EQI was born from the belief that violence prevention would benefit from more organisations and programmes working with a distinctly intersectional feminist approach.

Two women walking side by side, supporting each other

The Equality Institute is built on a culture of respect, collective-care and boundaries, that enables people to prioritise their wellbeing and individual needs, alongside work and advocating for social change.

Once a little idea to drive big change, EQI has now evolved into an established organisation, grounded in local engagement, while setting a global agenda.

The Equality Institute covers every region in the world. 20 countries and counting. We have worked with the governments of Australia, Cambodia, Kazakhstan and beyond to improve systems and serve women and girls. Our clients have included the United Nations Development Program, Oxfam, the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Amnesty International.

We have conducted over 50 studies around the world, including national prevalence studies, programme evaluations and systematic evidence reviews. We have trained hundreds of researchers, practitioners and policy makers to better understand what causes violence against women and girls and how to prevent it. We have grown our online community to over 110,000 followers across social media, creating viral content that has reached up to 3 million people in one post.

We are thought-leaders: sought after to provide strategic advice and effective solutions for major organisations to address one of the most wide-spread and intractable issues of our time. We bring together industry trailblazers from a range of fields, including research, humanitarian response, design, media and film, to build holistic solutions to the problem of violence against women and girls.

Global estimates indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. That is 818 million women, almost the total population of sub-Saharan Africa and almost three times the population of the United States.

A muslim woman sitting in a blue ball looking at a globe of the world dreaming about an equal world

However, after decades of advocacy and programming by women’s movements and feminist activists, VAWG is now widely recognised as a fundamental violation of human rights, and a serious development and public health issue. It is on the international agenda as never before.

Governments such as Australia, are increasingly starting to use a whole-of-government approach to address VAWG. In many countries, many large companies are committing to equal pay and equal representation of men and women on boards. The #metoo, #timesup, and the Women’s March, reflect a wider movement that is seeing women’s voice and experiences being heard and a coming together with power in numbers.

In 2015, all governments of the United Nations made an ambitious commitment to eliminate violence against women and girls by 2030 (SDG 5.2). With little over ten years left, the world remains vastly off-track. Despite significant progress, and decades of investment, VAWG remains an epidemic.

The SDGs illustrate that sustainable development can’t be achieved without addressing VAWG, and that addressing VAWG will contribute to achieving multiple development outcomes. This requires building bridges across unlikely sectors, integrating work on VAWG into large scale development strategies around climate change, education, poverty reduction.

We aim to live by our values in all that we do.

A doctor talking to a female patient about sexual and reproductive health
  • Strive for Equality
  • Stay Curious
  • Be Courageous
  • Find the Joy

Our values are active. They are not merely slogans but are imbedded into the structure of our organisation, and manifest in the approach we take, work we do, and systems we build.

We approach everything with an intersectional feminist lens. While violence affects women and girls across the world, different layers of people’s identities—such as their socio-economic status, indigeneity, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, minority status, age, and so on—impact the ways in which they are discriminated against and the types of violence perpetrated against them. Thus, our work aims to address not just gender inequality but all forms of inequality and systems of oppression in an interconnected way.

We ask questions instead of making assumptions and take an evidence-based approach to create effective change. We recognise vulnerability as a strength and dare to be different. We actively find the joy and share it, and we create systems that enable and support self and collective care.

These are just some of the ways in which our values manifest in the work we do.

Download our living values.

We believe in the power of partnership and recognise that we cannot do this work alone. As trusted experts with relationships across multiple sectors and diverse institutions, we are uniquely positioned to build bridges and promote collaboration in the field.

A Black men walking pass a young woman walking in the opposite direction

We are members, founders or advisors to many forward-thinking global coalitions on VAWG, including the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), the Global Women’s Institute (GWI), the Prevention Collaborative, Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM), and What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls. We are also proud to count other influential organisations among our partners in advancing gender equality: UN Women, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Amnesty International and the World Bank Group.

As allies striving to advance equality in all its forms, we partner with community leaders, groups and organisations, and aim to amplify their work where we can. We know that we are where we are today because of the power and persistence of grassroots feminist activists, women's rights organisations and social justice movements around the world. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and hope that we can play a role elevating the next generation of feminist leaders.

A global expert on violence against women and girls, Emma has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and has worked all over the world including for the United Nations and other large global programs dedicated to advancing gender equality.

A pregnant women talking with a young man about sexual and reproductive rights

In 2014, Emma’s career took her to South Africa to lead one of the largest global programmes to prevent violence against women and girls in low- and middle-income countries. In tow, were her 4-month-old twins who she was still breastfeeding and her two-and-a-half-year-old toddler. In the midst of a seriously intense period of travel, alongside a severe sinus infection, Emma burnt out. And she made one of the hardest decisions of her life – to resign from her job, with no employment in sight, pack up their lives and move back to Melbourne. In doing so, she was forced to reassess her life and she recognised that her commitment to the rights of women and girls did not have to come at the expense of her health.

So, in 2015, Emma founded The Equality Institute.

Drawing upon nearly two decades of global experience developing research methods, advising policy makers and leading large-scale research and evaluation projects on VAWG, Emma leads the team at Equality Institute.

Emma is regularly invited to speak publicly at events all over the globe and publishes widely in both high-level journals and mainstream media.

She sits on a number of boards and advisory groups including:

  • Co-chair, Gender and Rights Panel, World Health Organization
  • Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People
  • The Leadership Council of The Global Women’s Institute (GWI), The George Washington University
  • Ford Foundation's Advisory Group for Gender, Racial & Ethnic Justice International Program
  • A Monument of One’s Own (Australia)
  • Women of Colour Melbourne
  • Advisory Group, Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence Against Women: Combining Evidence and Practice Knowledge for Policy Reform, Latrobe University and RMIT

“Many people put ending violence against women in the ‘too hard’ basket, but violence is preventable and a more equal world is possible. Every day courageous individuals, organisations and communities bring about positive changes to the lives of women and girls. I hope we can play a small part in this ambitious agenda.”

— Emma Fulu, Founder and Director

“Many people put ending violence against women in the ‘too hard’ basket, but violence is preventable and a more equal world is possible. Every day courageous individuals, organisations and communities bring about positive changes to the lives of women and girls. I hope we can play a small part in this ambitious agenda.”

— Emma Fulu, Founder and Director

Our Sister Organisation

Voice Amplifying Women and Girld in Crises logo
VOICE is a revolutionary non-profit founded by Mendy Marsh and Emma Fulu, dedicated to building a humanitarian response to violence against women and girls in crisis and conflict settings led by the women and girls it intends to serve. VOICE elevates women and girl-led organisations and activists as respected leaders in designing and implementing solutions to eradicate violence–both in their communities and within the halls of power, and drawing from their expertise and experience. VOICE takes a distinctly feminist approach, amplifying female leadership to make the world a safer, and more equal place.

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