Non-profit

Equality Now

Website:

www.equalitynow.org

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

13-3660566

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $7,930,087
Expenses: $6,577,606
Assets: $12,816,543

Founded:

1992

Type:

Women’s rights advocacy

Equality Now is a global organization focused on fighting sexual discrimination and supporting the rights of women and girls through legal advocacy. It was founded by three feminist attorneys in 1992. [1] It has the philanthropic support of several left-of-center donors, including billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. [2]

Background

Equality Now was founded in 1992 by attorneys Jessica Neuwirth, Navanethem Pillay, and Feryal Gharahi in New York, New York. All three were feminists with a desire to combat sex-based discrimination and to support the rights of women and girls. [3]

In 1995, Neuwirth, Pillay, and Gharahi attended the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, where the Beijing Platform for Action was created. As part of this initiative, governments from around the world agreed on a plan to work toward gender equality worldwide. [4]

In 1999 Equality Now published “Words and Deeds,” which is updated every 5 years. It supports the Beijing Platform for Action by highlighting existing sex discriminatory laws that need to be reformed, with the goal of holding governments accountable. [5]

From 2000 to 2018 Equality Now opened offices in Nairobi, Kenya; London, United Kingdom; and Beirut, Lebanon. [6]

In 2020, Equality Now provided expert support for twelve litigation cases challenging sex discrimination laws, provided sixty-six expert submissions to the UN and regional bodies, led forty-seven campaigns, and published six major reports concerning law and policy reform associated with sexual discrimination and the rights of women and girls. [7]

In December 2020, Equality Now held its Make Equality Reality Gala. Celebrities making appearances included Meryl Streep, Kate Hudson, and left-wing political activist Jane Fonda. Equality Now honored activists and filmmakers of On the Record, a documentary about a former hip hop executive who made public allegations of sexual abuse by one of the most powerful men in the music industry. These individuals actively support the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. [8]

Equality Now’s 2022 organizational strategy, which is entitled “Future Proofing Gender Equality,” encompasses sex inequality and oppression found in older traditional and religious practices to newer threats found in digital environments. [9]

Approach

Equality Now addresses sexual discrimination with a legal perspective by reviewing existing laws that may be discriminatory and working to repeal or change them and by helping to create or expand laws that support the rights of women and girls. [10]

The four areas of focus are Achieving Legal Equality, Ending Sexual Exploitation, Ending Sexual Violence, and Ending Harmful Practices. Equality Now encourages governments to create, change, or enforce laws to support these four areas through legal advocacy, regional partnership-building, and grassroots activism. [11]

Financials

Equality Now received $7,705,065 in contributions and grants in 2019. Total expenses were $6,577,606 with $3,105,969 (47%) paid out in employee compensation and benefits. [12]

Donors

2019 donors include many left-of-center philanthropic organizations including California Community Foundation, Goldhirsh Foundation, Hopewell Fund, Leon Levy Foundation, National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund, NoVo Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Tides Foundation. [13]

On March 23, 2022, MacKenzie Scott published a list of philanthropic recipients which included 465 nonprofits and $3,863,125,000 in donations, given in a nine-month period. Equality Now was on this list of recipients. [14] Equality Now received a $15 million grant. [15] Scott is worth $46.2 billion as of April 9, 2022. She is a philanthropist and author, and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. In May of 2019, Scott signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least half of her wealth over the course of her lifetime. [16]

Founders

Jessica Neuwirth is one of the founders and honorary president. [17] Previously, she worked for Amnesty International, a global research and advocacy organization focused on human rights. She was a founder and president of ERA Coalition, an organization working to get the Equal Rights Amendment into the United States Constitution. She holds a law degree from Harvard Law School. [18]

Navanethem Pillay earned a doctorate in law at Harvard Law School. Pillay worked as an attorney and then a judge in South Africa and became United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She co-founded Equality Now and focused much of her work on the rights of women and minorities. [19]

Feryal Gharahi was one of the founders of Equality Now. She obtained a doctorate in law at Georgetown University Law Center. Gharahi was a public defender in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and also held numerous roles focused on human rights and making governments accountable for their actions. She passed away in 2017. [20]

Leadership

Diane Feeney is co-chair of the global board. She is the founder of a small business in Costa Rica that employs low-income women to teach them skills that will improve their marketability for the future. She was also the director of the French American Charitable Trust. [21]

Patricia Amira is co-chair of the global board. [22] She is a popular media personality across Africa. Since 2008 she founded and has played various roles at media company Mandala Ltd, including her talk show “The Patricia Show.” She is also a webinar series moderator for the World Health Organization. [23]

Gloria Steinem is board chair emeritus. [24] She is a political activist and feminist organizer who has been involved with Equality Now since its inception. She co-founded Ms. Magazine and several feminist organizations including Women’s Media Center, the Women’s Action Alliance, and the National Women’s Political Caucus. [25]

References

  1. “The History.” Equality Now – Who We Are. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/the-history/ ^
  2. “MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett Award Equality Now $15 Million to Advance Women’s and Girls’ Rights.” Cision PR Newswire. March 23, 2022. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mackenzie-scott-and-dan-jewett-award-equality-now-15-million-to-advance-womens-and-girls-rights-301508369.html ^
  3. “The History.” Equality Now – Who We Are. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/the-history/ ^
  4. “28 Years of Equality Now.” Equality Now – News and Insights. April 30, 2020. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/news_and_insights/28_years_of_equality_now/ ^
  5. “Words And Deeds: Beijing+25 Report.” Equality Now – Resource Center – Publications. March 2, 2020. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/resource/words_and_deeds_beijing25_report/ ^
  6. “The History.” Equality Now – Who We Are. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/the-history/ ^
  7. “Impact Report 2020.” Equality Now – Annual Reports. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/annual_reports/2020-impact-report/ ^
  8. Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo. “How You Can Help Equality Now Raise Awareness And Funds For Human Rights.” Forbes. December 14, 2020. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferpalumbo/2020/12/14/how-you-can-help-equality-now-raise-awareness-and-funds-for-human-rights/?sh=747b69ba4aba ^
  9. “MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett Award Equality Now $15 Million to Advance Women’s and Girls’ Rights.” Cision PR Newswire. March 23, 2022. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mackenzie-scott-and-dan-jewett-award-equality-now-15-million-to-advance-womens-and-girls-rights-301508369.html ^
  10. “Our Approach.” Equality Now – What We Do. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/our-approach/ ^
  11. “Achieving Legal Equality.” Equality Now – What We Do. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/achieve_legal_equality/ ^
  12. Equality Now. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. (Form 990 – Part I). 2019. ^
  13. “Equality Now.” ProPublica NonProfit Explorer. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/full_text_search?page=3&q=equality+now ^
  14. MacKenzie Scott. “Helping Any of Us Can Help Us All.” Medium. March 23, 2022. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://mackenzie-scott.medium.com/helping-any-of-us-can-help-us-all-f4c7487818d9 ^
  15. “MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett Award Equality Now $15 Million to Advance Women’s and Girls’ Rights.” Cision PR Newswire. March 23, 2022. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mackenzie-scott-and-dan-jewett-award-equality-now-15-million-to-advance-womens-and-girls-rights-301508369.html ^
  16. “MacKenzie Scott.” Forbes Profile. April 9, 2022. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/profile/mackenzie-scott/?sh=21a6b21b243d ^
  17. “Jessica Neuwirth (USA).” Equality Now – Who We Are – Our Board. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/staff_members/jessica-neuwirth-usa/ ^
  18. “Jessica Neuwirth.” Jessica Neuwirth website. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://neuwirth.email/ ^
  19. “Navanethem “Navi” Pillay.” Institute for African Women in Law. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.africanwomeninlaw.com/african-women-in-law/Navanethem-%22Navi%22-Pillay ^
  20. “Feryal Gharahi.” The Washington Post – Obituaries. March 21, 2017. Accessed April 9, 2022. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/washingtonpost/name/feryal-gharahi-obituary?id=6079839 ^
  21. “Diane Feeney (USA/France).” Equality Now – Who We Are – Our Board. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/staff_members/diane-feeney-usa-france/ ^
  22. “Patricia Amira.” Equality Now – Who We Are – Our Board. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/staff_members/patricia-amira-kenya/ ^
  23. “Patricia Amira.” Linked In. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/patriciaamira/ ^
  24. “Gloria Steinem.” Equality Now – Who We Are – Our Board. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.equalitynow.org/staff_members/gloria-steinem-usa/ ^
  25. “Gloria Steinem – About.” Gloria Steinem website. Accessed April 7, 2022. http://www.gloriasteinem.com/about ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1992

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $7,930,087 $6,577,606 $12,816,543 $345,790 N $7,705,065 $0 $105,672 $194,886 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $6,434,381 $8,297,220 $11,200,786 $330,033 N $6,372,362 $0 $87,253 $205,798 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $12,017,939 $5,445,452 $12,575,292 $160,727 N $11,991,354 $0 $49,450 $426,763 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $3,210,113 $4,916,223 $5,944,270 $198,996 N $3,369,416 $0 $33,354 $167,120 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $4,524,689 $4,852,112 $7,913,732 $499,259 N $4,480,270 $0 $27,974 $387,349 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $7,625,216 $4,687,059 $7,902,621 $120,533 N $7,800,860 $0 $21,267 $371,833 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,897,801 $3,208,805 $4,890,116 $81,131 N $3,082,602 $0 $10,563 $359,741 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $5,859,923 $3,217,078 $5,362,642 $246,041 N $5,835,441 $0 $8,394 $338,717 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,607,890 $3,287,425 $2,788,681 $323,487 N $2,597,653 $0 $7,829 $349,895 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $2,443,511 $2,873,142 $3,505,700 $358,778 N $2,428,623 $0 $7,368 $299,264 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Equality Now

    125 MAIDEN LANE 9TH FLOOR SUITE B
    NEW YORK, NY 10038-5063