Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you refer to gender and not sex? And what about sexual orientation?

We know that rigid stereotypes and biases based on sex, gender, and sexual orientation are at the root of gender inequity. It is part of our mission to challenge these stereotypes and biases, amplify the voices of those they harm, and help to end them. 

The gender justice framework envisions a world where gender doesn’t determine anyone’s value or worth and isn’t a barrier to opportunities or ability to thrive. It is this vision that inspires our mission to advancing gender equity through the law.  

Is Gender Justice a women’s rights group? Do you work only with women?

We don’t choose where we focus our resources based only on the sex or gender of the person affected. Rather, we concentrate digging out the root causes of gender injustice and addressing the most serious economic consequences of gender injustice.

Gender Justice strives to center those people and communities harmed the most by gender barriers. As a result, this means we work primarily with women, but the impact of our work reaches much farther. We understand that everyone is harmed by rigid sex roles and gender stereotypes. And that there is no one way to be a woman. Women live at the intersection of many identities – trans women, women of color, lesbians, women with disabilities, senior women, mothers, and countless others – that affect who we are, how we are treated, and how we understand the world.

We believe, to quote U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, “Those closest to the pain should be closest to the power.”

In a culture that perpetuates a harmful gender hierarchy, women have less access to power, authority, capital and autonomy. This is especially true for those who challenge or defy gender stereotypes. Because so much of our work is interested in the economic and health consequences of gender injustice, our clients have typically been – and will likely continue to be – cis- and trans women, gender non-conforming and non-binary people.

Is Gender Justice a feminist group?

Yes, and.

We believe in the fundamental values and promise of feminism, to advance political, economic and social equality without regard to sex. But we also understand that the movement comes with significant baggage that it’s critical for us to acknowledge. At best, the mainstream feminist movement struggled – at times, still struggles – to engage with the role race, class, sexuality or gender identify plays in women’s oppression. At worst, it has explicitly rejected women of color, poor women, lesbians, trans women and others. That’s not our feminism. 

It is vital to recognize the intersection of race, class and gender bias, and we approach our work with this in mind.

How are you different from other equal rights organizations?

Rather than focus on what have traditionally been considered women’s issues, LGBTQ or reproductive rights, we take an overarching view, bringing a unique gender lens to the whole of the progressive movement, across organizations and issues. This broader perspective helps us see the connections in the ways gender bias and discrimination plays out in different communities but derives from the same rigid ideas of men and women.

And by working in close coalition, we are able to bring this gender lens to other organizations and their work – and in turn, better understand the concerns of organizations and communities outside our own.

Is Gender Justice a law firm?

Gender Justice is a nonprofit legal and policy advocacy organization that often represents individuals in legal cases brought under federal civil rights statutes like Title VII, Title IX, as well as state statutes like the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Under those laws, successful clients are entitled to recover attorneys’ fees to pay their lawyers for their work. The attorneys at Gender Justice can be awarded fees in those cases, just like lawyers in for-profit law firms.

However, unlike at a private, for-profit law firm, lawyers at Gender Justice do not have a private financial interest in any legal fees generated by their work. Any funds received as attorneys’ fees payments from the cases we argue go to the organization, which is governed by a board of directors. The board ensures that all income is used for the organization’s charitable purposes, our ongoing work on behalf of other clients, and our advocacy and education projects.

Can I view your organization’s IRS 990 Documents?

Of course! All of our 990 documents are available on Guidestar.


How is Gender Justice funded?

Gender Justice funds our work through a combination of charitable donations from individuals, grants from foundations, pass-through grants from national projects or campaigns, and attorneys’ fees earned from our lawsuits. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, all donations to Gender Justice are tax-deductible. 


Milestones of Progress

Our organization has celebrated some big wins over the years and we continue to grow in the ways we harness strategic impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and education to push the law forward when it comes to gender equality. Check out what we’ve accomplished, together.

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