As part of its global initiative to support and empower women and girls, Hogan Lovells, one of the world’s largest law firms, has agreed to partner with The Barefoot College. Since its inception, the long-term objective of the Barefoot College has been to work with marginalized, exploited, and impoverished rural poor, living on less than US$1 per day, and lift them over the poverty line with dignity and self respect. Hogan Lovells will provide intellectual property, corporate and tax advice to Barefoot College and help expand the project to Zanzibar, South Sudan, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Tanzania.

This is part of the new global initiative Hogan Lovells launched to address gender-based violence and to support educational and work-related opportunities for girls and women. The Empowering Girls and Women Initiative marks the firm’s fifth anniversary by mobilizing the firm’s people and considerable citizenship resources to focus on helping to empower women to shape society in three specific areas:

• Addressing gender-based violence (including domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking)

• Enhancing educational opportunities for women and girls

• Empowering women to shape society through fostering sustainable women-led business opportunities to increase female employment

Hogan Lovells has already identified more than 25 local, national, and international nonprofits and other organizations with which to partner in order to tackle these crucial issues including The Barefoot College. Concurrently, Hogan Lovells has made a three-year Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Commitment to Action.”

The firm is also seeking other new partnerships and opportunities across all strands of its citizenship efforts, including Pro Bono, Community Investment, Diversity, Environment, and Touch global giving.

Hogan Lovells’ new Initiative builds on its existing significant work in this area. Some examples of the firm’s current efforts include:

• Working to support women-led start-up businesses in developing countries

• Securing compensation and other relief for victims of trafficking, rape, and other violent crime.

• Representing girls and women seeking asylum or refuge in the United States

• Championing the rights of girls and women to play sports in South Africa

“As a global organization that recognizes and supports the contributions of women to society and business, Hogan Lovells embraces the opportunity to be a role model and agent for change for gender equality,” Nicholas Cheffings, Chair of Hogan Lovells, said. “We want to play a role in narrowing the gender gap, which has negatively affected the economic, social, and political position of girls and women.

“Our Empowering Girls and Women Initiative, launched as we celebrate Hogan Lovells’ 5th anniversary, takes our Global Citizenship Policy that supports every member of our firm to contribute at least 25 hours of services each year, one step further. Our work with world-class NGOs will mobilize and energize that commitment.”