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Yasmeen Hassan to step down as Global Executive Director of Equality Now

A statement from the Equality Now Board of Directors:

It is with a great deal of sadness and pride that we are announcing the departure later this year of Yasmeen Hassan, our Global Executive Director.

Yasmeen has been a member of the Equality Now family for nearly 30 years, including a decade as our Global Executive Director. During that time, she has been instrumental in creating a diverse, sustainable, and transformative women’s rights organization that we are proud to be Directors of. 

Her knowledge of the sector, combined with a keen strategic focus and a commitment to investment in staff, has grown our presence, reputation, and impact across the globe, including in Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia, Asia, and Latin America.

Yasmeen’s legacy is one of enduring equality for millions of women and girls. We are extremely proud that she will continue to use her expertise and platform to look at ways to advance gender equality, including in Pakistan.

Her departure coincides with a new strategic phase for Equality Now that Yasmeen has helped shape and an incredibly exciting time for women’s rights. We will now, with Yasmeen’s support, begin the search for a new Global Executive Director. As the leader of a strong, high-performing team, they will steer Equality Now through the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world, leading on the delivery of our new organizational strategy, Future Proofing Equality: A just world for women and girls. Yasmeen will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor to the organization, providing advice and guidance as called upon by the board and the new Global Executive Director.

Thank you, Yasmeen, for your commitment and dedication to Equality Now and the rights of women and girls.

Equality Now Board of Directors

Equality Now’s Board and Leadership Team

Equality Now is partnering with Perrett Laver, an executive search firm that works exclusively on finding senior candidates for mission-driven organizations around the world. Perrett Laver is commencing the search with an in-depth consultation phase, seeking to build their understanding of Equality Now, as well as an appreciation for the models of a leader best able to work with our existing strong, high performing team, ready to take on the global challenges and opportunities that the next few years will bring.

Recruitment of candidates has commenced, with more details available on their website. Any questions regarding this opportunity can be sent to Sophia Copeman, Partner at Perrett Laver (

Passing the torch of equality: A message from Yasmeen Hassan

Serving Equality Now’s mission of equality for women and girls around the world has been the pinnacle of my career – it is now time for me to move on.

My journey with Equality Now began as a volunteer while I was still in law school. My contributions to the work of what remains today the only organization dedicated to legal equality for women and girls were a great source of both personal and professional pride.

When, in 2008, I was invited to serve as the organization’s first Director of Programs, I did not have to think twice. When I was asked three years later in 2011 to take the position of Global Executive Director, I was daunted by the scale of the challenge, but I am delighted to say I took the risk, and now, over ten years later, I am ready to pass the baton.

Having dedicated the last decade to expanding the reach and impact of Equality Now, I am confident that I am leaving the organization in what is its strongest position yet. Since 2008 our staff has grown from 17 to more than 55, and our annual budget has grown from $2.5 million to over $13 million. We have incredibly smart, creative teams working in all corners of the world, overseen by a diverse, regionally representative, and talented global board.

I have been humbled by the commitment and dedication shown by every member of the Equality Now team, as well as by our friends and supporters, whose generosity – be it with funds, time, or expertise – has helped create the strong organization that we have today. 

Now, as it celebrates its 30th anniversary, Equality Now is moving into a new phase with the publication of its third strategic plan, Future Proofing Equality: A just world for women and girls. This plan sets out how Equality Now will continue to confront and challenge inequality for women and girls in every area, from the age-old constructs of religion and tradition to the digital environments and culture of the modern world, clearing the path for a future where women and girls are equal to men and boys.

To achieve this, Equality Now must double down on its commitment to its vision and scale up to meet the growing assault on justice for women and girls around the world. I am excited for new leadership to take on the mantle and to bring fresh momentum and energy to the movement.

I will remain in post until the end of 2022, to ensure a smooth transition as our board conducts and completes its search for a new Global Executive Director. After this, I will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor to the organization and to the new Global Executive Director to advise them as and when they require. In the future, I plan to spend time looking at ways to advance gender equality, including in Pakistan where we have seen concerning trends in deprioritization of women’s and girls’ rights.

Serving Equality Now’s mission of global equality has been both an honor and a privilege, and I will continue to support the organization in the future, however and whenever I am called upon to do so. I look forward greatly to seeing this next phase of its journey unfold.

In solidarity,

Yasmeen Hassan