Bamako, 5 December, 2019

PRESS RELEASE

Official launch of the Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls in Mali

BAMAKO, Mali - Mali, the European Union and the United Nations launched the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls on 5 December 2019 in Bamako, Mali. The official ceremony took place in conjunction with the launch of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign.

Under the chairmanship of the Minister for the Promotion of Women, Children and Families, Dr. Diakité Aïssata Kassa TRAORE, members of the Government, the Ambassador of the European Union, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, civil society organizations and women's and youth associations attended the launch event of the Spotlight Initiative. In total, more than 1,000 people gathered to say no to violence against women and girls in Mali.

More than 1,000 people gathered to say no to violence against women and girls in Mali. Photo: Prestige Consulting

Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in the world.

"The European Union, the United Nations, the Government of Mali and women's right associations will work hand in hand to put an end to this scourge." - Ambassador of the European Union to Mali Bart OUVRY

The Spotlight Initiative is a multi-year global partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030. This Initiative is the world's largest investment to end violence against women and girls.

"With the Spotlight Initiative, we are putting a spotlight on the unacceptable global phenomenon that is violence against women and girls. The European Union, the United Nations, the Government of Mali and women's rights associations will work hand in hand to put an end to this scourge," said the Ambassador of the European Union to Mali Bart OUVRY.

"Our Government is committed to strengthen its relationships with all the actors of the Spotlight Initiative in order to effectively eliminate violence against women and girls." - Minister for the Promotion of Women, Children and Family, Dr. DIAKITÉ Aïssata Kassa TRAORE

Mali is one of the eight African countries benefiting from the Spotlight Initiative. The programme will support the actions of the government to eliminate violence against women and girls, harmful practices and barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights. The four-year investment of the Spotlight Initiative in Mali amounts to 25 million USD (14,357,325,000 CFA). The Initiative is targetting five localities: Bamako, Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso and Ségou.

"Despite our efforts and achievements, it is clear that women in Mali, and in other countries in the Sahel region, continue to face acts of sexual violence - sometimes linked to regional conflicts, as well as physical, psychological and economic violence. Our government is committed to strengthen its relationships with all the actors of the Spotlight Initiative in order to effectively eliminate violence against women and girls," said the Minister for the Promotion of Women, Children and Families, Dr. DIAKITÉ Aïssata Kassa TRAORE.

"The fight against gender-based violence is essential to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030." - UN Resident Coordinator in Mali Ms. Mbaranga GASARABWE

Through innovative approaches, this Initiative aims to strengthen legal frameworks and institutions, promote social norms conducive to the abandonment of gender-based violence and harmful practices, increase access to support services for survivors of violence , improve the use of quality data and strengthen women's rights organizations.

"The Spotlight Initiative will support the efforts of the Government of Mali to eliminate violence against women and girls and harmful practices. The fight against gender-based violence is essential to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030," said Ms. Mbaranga GASARABWE, Special Deputy-Representative of the Secretary General for MINUSMA, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Mali.

The Spotlight Initiative will build on the complementarities of the different actors involved to implement sustainable solutions across five UN agencies: UNHCR, UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNICEF.

Contacts: Marianne Mara Foulah, Program Officer marianne.mara.foulah@one.un.org Moussa Baba Coulibaly, Communication Focal Point, momcoulibaly@unfpa.org