Women's Rights Are Human Rights

Background and Objectives

The International Models Project for Women’s Rights (IMPOWR) is an innovative initiative to establish a global collaborative research database on women's rights under law. IMPOWR's searchable database on legal developments affecting gender equality serves as a unique resource in support of the worldwide implementation of the principles underlying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW provides a comprehensive framework to advance women's rights and has been ratified by 189 countries to date. Because strong legal and judicial systems that equitably uphold the rule of law for all are an important cornerstone of sustainable political, economic and social development it is vital to have a resource of women's rights around the world for global knowledge exchange. Our intent is to empower the global community to exchange knowledge and wisdom on effective law reform and enforcement efforts. 

IMPOWR aims to:

  • Provide original, editable, searchable and comparable content summarizing current gender equality law as well as the legal reform and enforcement efforts taking place in over 190 countries on 40 specific topics.
  • Serve as a hub of links to numerous other databases, providing a uniquely comprehensive and navigable research tool for primary and secondary source materials on laws, legal resources, law reform projects, reports and assessments of gender equality under the law around the world.
  • Showcase expert analyses of gender equality legal issues and provide models of law reform through original articles and presentations.
  • Link stakeholders, policy makers, legislators, jurists, financial institutions, NGOs, non-profits, research institutions, project directors, law enforcement professionals, social workers, news organizations, legal experts, law schools, law students and volunteers around the globe to a powerfully informed community focused on promoting gender equality and development.

IMPOWR was initiated by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2008. The project is administered by the ABA Section of International Law and co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Women in the ProfessionABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. Initial funding for IMPOWR was provided through a grant by the ABA Enterprise Fund.

Role of Contributors

Anyone is welcome to contribute and edit content in the IMPOWR Research Database. Volunteer "Contributors" research, write and edit the database content. Contributors provide updates and oversight of the content posted in order to keep it up-to-date, relevant and accurate. If you are interested in becoming an IMPOWR Contributor, please see our  “How to Get Started” section.