Reforming Family Laws
Family laws regulate, codify, and define roles and relations among family members. WLP is conducting research, facilitating trainings, and mobilizing an international campaign to reform discriminatory family laws to ensure women’s rights and freedoms.
Research-based case studies from 11 countries
Advocacy trainings in the Middle East, West Africa, and South Asia
Global film screenings, workshops, and demonstrations
18 national campaigns
Millions of women around the world are still subject to laws and practices that give the men in their family the power to control their right to marry, travel, work, inherit land and property, and to pass citizenship on to their children. Even in countries where the family laws themselves are not discriminatory, the enforcement of such laws can be discriminatory. In the worst cases, family members have been able to commit honor killings, child marriage, and wife battery with impunity. While such violent crimes might be technically illegal, in some communities there is little incentive or consensus to prosecute and punish the perpetrators.
In 2016, the WLP Partnership launched Family Law Reform to Challenge Gender-based Violence, an international research and advocacy project to reform discriminatory family laws. The goal of this initiative, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Ottowa-based International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is to inspire a global advocacy movement. Our research is drawing attention to the many linkages between discriminatory family laws and the levels of violence towards women in some societies. We are finding that where women are more equal in practice and under the law, there is less violence against women. Read more about WLP's family law reform project in this article by IDRC.