Rights of Women was formed in 1975 as a direct response to the fifth demand of the Women’s Liberation Movement for legal and financial independence for women. A group of women legal workers founded the organisation to help women find their way around the many man-made laws that affected them.
Our services have developed and provided many thousands of women with free legal advice and information to increase their access to justice and campaigned for changes in the law which protect women from violence and discrimination.
You can read more about our herstory, including some of the campaigns and issues that we have worked on and the developments in law and policy which have resulted, in our 40th anniversary publication, available here.
Our vision is to achieve equality, justice and safety in the law for all women.
Our mission is to advise, educate and empower women by:
Our core values sustain us and will be present throughout all our work. These values are live in our organisation and underpin everything we do.
We exist because women are not treated equally in society and face abuse based on gender. We are part of a wider diverse inclusive and intersectional feminist movement. We are committed to social justice and a world where all women have access to safety, equality and justice through their legal rights. Our women lawyers provide free specialist legal advice to women survivors because we recognise that women do not have fair and equal access to the law. Our policy and campaigning work is based on what we learn from the women we advise. It is aimed at improving the law and legal systems so they deliver better outcomes for women.
We are principled in our approach and this is obvious in all we do. Our most important service is to deliver legal advice to women. We advise women so they can make informed decisions often at very difficult times in their lives. We know women depend on this advice. It can be life-saving. We are committed to providing a high quality specialist legal advice service they can trust. Because we are a charity our work is for the public benefit and we rely on grants and donations to survive; we value these investments in our sustainability. Our track record and evidence of work shows funders that we are achieving our goals.
We are part of a broad community of women. We are connected in many ways including our experiences of abuse, our shared values and our commitment to challenging oppression in all forms. We believe we can only overcome women’s inequality by working with others. We provide services for women by women so that women can be empowered within their communities. We recognise the women’s sector’s work is vital and yet underfunded. We work to defend and preserve it. We can do it, together.
We are accountable to the women we support through our services, the wider women’s sector and movement. We are also accountable through our staff and volunteer team and our donors and funders. We practice accountability in many ways including through delivering timely, accurate advice to women; ensuring the voices of women survivors and their lived experience are included within and drive our work; listening without being defensive to constructive challenge to our work; holding others such as policy and decision makers to account without fear or compromise.
We are a growing organisation that is committed to learning and changing in response to the world around us. We see how abuse against women takes different forms. We address this through innovative work. We maintain our expertise by keeping ourselves up to date with the law and legal changes. There is always more work to be done to make our organisation, work and services more diverse, representative and accessible. We are committed to continual improvement. We are reflective. We recognise complexity. We will continue to move forward within a feminist movement that is diverse, evolving and has never stood still.
We are an equalities organisation and work to address the inequalities which women face in society. It is very important to us that our Board, staff team and volunteers reflect the diversity of the women we work with.
Our Equalities and Diversity Policy is framed to help us achieve our vision and mission and to live our values.
We intend that our values should be visible in every aspect of our service delivery, in our interaction with staff, volunteers and Trustees and in our engagement with everyone we work with.
If you would like to see a copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy, please contact us.