Around the world, deeply entrenched beliefs exist that women are of less value than men. Poor and marginalised women face multiple barriers to involvement in decision-making at all levels. Just 16 of 188 national leaders are women. Maternal mortality rates are persistently high. Domestic violence is common but rarely prosecuted.
Women have the right to an equal say in all matters that affect their lives. Their right is enshrined in a number of core universal human rights instruments as well as in national constitutions and laws.
Oxfam's Raising Her Voice programme is seeking to overcome women's exclusion from political, social and economic life. The programme in sub-Saharan Africa supports the implementation of the 2005 African Women's Protocol and is working with law-makers, governments, community leaders and women themselves to end gender inequality and discrimination.
The Lawyers' Circle is a network of women lawyers across diverse firms in the UK, who lend their skills, network and resources to support Oxfam's work to promote the rights of poor and marginalised women worldwide. Those involved include senior partners, QCs, in-house lawyers and solicitors.
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