The Spotlight Initiative partnered with the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) in July 2019 to launch a call for proposals in Africa and Latin America that focuses on those working on behalf of groups facing intersecting forms of discrimination, in alignment with the 2030 Agenda and the principle of leaving no one behind in programming on ending violence against women and girls.

The Spotlight Initiative and the UN Trust Fund joined forces to complement the Initiative's outreach and resourcing to civil society organizations, particularly small, local women’s rights organizations in Spotlight Initiative target countries within the framework of Outcome 6 of the Spotlight Theory of Change.

In Africa, 21 country level projects were selected for a total of USD 7.5 million and 3 multi-country projects for USD 2.7 million. In Latin America a total amount of USD 5.5 million for 11 country level projects was endorsed by the Regional Programme Advisory committee of the Trust Fund.

AFRICA

African Indigenous Women Organisation Central African Network, Cameroon

Project Title: Economic empowerment of girls/women and advocacy for the enrolment of more girls in schools as precursors to end gender-based violence in indigenous communities in the East and Adamawa regions of Cameroon.
Description: A project implemented by the African Indigenous Women Organisation Central African Network in Cameroon works to end gender-based violence against women and girls in five indigenous communities in the East and Adamawa areas of the country. The project works in close partnership with seven local community-based organizations in advocating against gender-based violence and is therefore aligned to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6. Among the principal forms of gender-based violence inflicted on women and girls in these communities are harmful traditional practices such as early marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting and domestic violence. The project aims to mainstream gender into all spheres of community life and in particular focuses on education, economic empowerment and political participation. Among the key objectives of the project are enhanced community knowledge about the rights of women and girls, increased school attendance by girls, more income generating opportunities for women and girls and an end of harmful traditional practices. To achieve these goals, in addition to targeting at-risk women and girls themselves, the grantee also engages members of faith-based organizations, government officials, legal professionals and men and boys. It does so employing a community-based approach, in partnership with a community-based organization in each indigenous community, as well as with local government. In addition, Transparency International Cameroon plays an advisory role regarding monitoring and evaluation and providing technical support on human rights issues to the project.

Cameroon Association for the Protection and Education of the Child (CAPEC), Cameroon

Project title: Community-based prevention of sexual violence on women and girls
Description:A project implemented by the Cameroon Association for the Protection and Education of the Child works to prevent and respond to violence against women in five villages in the capital of Kumba, Meme Division, in the South-West Region of Cameroon. The project closely reflects Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 as it looks to support women’s rights groups and civil society organizations in using accountability mechanisms to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. In the wake of the armed conflict that began in 2016, women and girls in the region are at risk of violence from both community members and unidentified gunmen. Employing a human rights-based approach and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) ecological model, the grantee aims to provide women and girls in the five target villages, including internally displaced and refugee women, with the knowledge, skills and support required to report and respond to sexual violence. The project is implemented in partnership with state institutions, which provide technical assistance, as well as with local government and community-based organizations, which assist with community mobilization and service provision, including legal aid.

Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, Cameroon

Project title: Ending violence against women and girls through social change, South West, North West Regions, Cameroon.
Description: A project implemented by the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa works to improve the prevention of violence against women and girls in 13 selected communities in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon.
High levels of sexual and intimate partner violence, physical and psychological abuse in the region have been further exacerbated by the outbreak of armed conflict in these areas, which has caused a general breakdown in law and order and a collapse of traditional protection mechanisms. Closely aligned with Spotlight Imitative Outcome 6, the project works closely with women’s organizations on the ground, including the Ngore Africa Center for Women Empowerment and Development and the Rural Women Center for Education and Development. The grantee also works with the Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family and involves autonomous social movements and civil society organizations at the local and national levels to engage the authorities in improving the prevention of violence against women and girls. The grantee adopts an approach that focuses on changing social norms, behaviours, practices and attitudes that lead to the most common types of violence reported. Using the SASA! methodology, the project places an emphasis on empowering women and girls, including those internally displaced, who are survivors of violence and victims of sex trafficking. The project also engages members of the wider community, including civil society organizations, men and boys and police and other officials.

International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) CAMEROON, Cameroon

Project title: Making violence against women and girls history in the South West and North West regions of Cameroon
Description: A project by the International Federation of Women Lawyers works to increase the effectiveness of legislation, policy, national action plans and accountability on ending violence against women and girls in Cameroon. The project contributes to the achievement of Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by fostering partnerships with local organizations such as the Libra Association for Widows, which has experience in community mobilization, and the Pan-African Institute for Development, which contributes to data management and capacity development activities. Despite the ratification of treaties on combatting violence against women and girls, gender-based violence, including rape, domestic violence and harmful practices, is not yet adequately addressed by Cameroon’s laws. This project works to encourage law reform and the establishment of a platform of paralegals and civil society leaders to monitor progress. This project, implemented in rural and sub-urban communities in the North-West and South-West regions, focuses on at-risk women and women survivors of violence, including those in detention, victims of trafficking and those who have been internally displaced. It works to improve access to and better quality of services for survivors through capacity building and to raise awareness of violence against women and girls by engaging the media, legal officers, parliamentarians, policy makers, traditional and religious leaders and women leaders in the community.

Rural Women Center for Education and Development, Cameroon

Project title: Using a Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) study to understand VAW/G in conflict towards building a participatory and robust response network in Ngoketunjia Division of Cameroon
Description: A project implemented by the Rural Women Center for Education and Development in the North-West Region of Cameroon works to address sexual, physical, emotional, psychological and socio-economic violence against women and girls. The project contributes to the achievement of Spotlight Outcome 6 in that it aims to foster partnerships with local civil society organizations in advocating against violence against women and girls. Despite government and civil society efforts, violence against women and girls, most notably affecting young women and girls between 12 and 30 years of age, remains widespread in the region, partly due to harmful socio-cultural norms and practices common in households and communities. The project, which targets 13 villages in three districts in Ngoketunjia Division, encourages community participation and ownership of the interventions that aim to change the behaviours of men and boys and duty bearers as well as women and girls at risk of or survivors of violence. Project activities include awareness-raising training, advocacy meetings and the creation of safe spaces for women and girls. The project engages a variety of stakeholders, including traditional rulers and religious leaders, law enforcement officers and government officials, the media, women’s rights organizations and youth associations in the target villages.

Public Interest Law Center, Chad

Project title: Violences faites aux femmes au Tchad: Prevention et Prise en charge
Description: The Public Interest Law Center, a Chadian civil society organization, has promoted human rights and access to justice for women and girls since 2003. This project contributes to ending violence against women and girls in the family and in communities in four intervention zones in Chad. The project is aligned with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 through its efforts to foster partnerships with local organizations to bolster efforts to end gender-based violence. The project works to eradicate harmful social norms, customs and practices and to enhance access to legal and psychosocial services for women survivors of violence, including women in detention, domestic workers and survivors of sexual exploitation. It strengthens access for women and girls to adequate services through the establishment of one-stop service centres for survivors of violence. The grantee also engages community members, members of faith-based organizations, media professionals and state officials and cooperates closely with other civil society organizations to strengthen collective and coordinated efforts to end violence against women and girls. The grantee also employs advocacy and awareness-raising interventions to promote changes in social norms and behaviours that promote gender inequality. Community-based paralegals are closely involved in this work and the project fosters networks of key stakeholders to share knowledge and expertise on ending violence against women and girls and help build sustainable change.

ONG conscience et vie (COVIE), Cote d'Ivoire

Project title: projet de prevention des VBG et d'amélioration de la prise en charge des survivantes aux profit de 960 TS dans la région des grands ponts
Description:A project implemented in Cote d'Ivoire by the organization Conscience et vie, a women-led civil society organization, works to promote access to rights to sexual and reproductive health for all. The project is aligned to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to address the intersecting forms of discrimination and marginalization faced by female sex workers and to promote their capacity to take action against rights violations. The project focuses in particular on female sex workers who are particularly at risk of sexual violence. Patriarchal socio-cultural norms and practices and unequal gender power structures exacerbate sex workers' exposure to violence. High levels of violence combined with poor knowledge about sexual and reproductive health also result in a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, among this particularly at-risk group. Strategies adopted by the project to prevent violence against female sex workers and improve their access to multisectoral services include: educating key actors, including the women themselves, on gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive human rights; empowering survivors to report violence; improving the capacity of service providers; and facilitating the safe reintegration of survivors into their communities. In order to increase the chances of the intervention’s sustainable success, the project involves community-based groups, health professionals, legal officers and state officials.

ONG Dignité et Droits pour les Enfants en Côte D'Ivoire (ONG DDE-CI), Cote d'Ivoire

Project title: Projet de promotion de la santé sexuelle reproductive et de lutte contre les viols, les violences sexuelles et psychologiques faites aux filles et aux femmes handicapées et non handicapées.
Description: A project implemented in Cote d’Ivoire by Dignité et Droits pour les Enfants en Cote d'Ivoire, a human-rights non-governmental organization based in Abidjan, works to protect the dignity of children and promote an environment in which children know their rights and are empowered to claim them. The project is aligned to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it works with and builds the capacity of local women’s associations to equip them to better address violence against women in their communities. The project focuses on sexual and psychological violence against women and girls in the school and the family in the localities of Bouaké, Port-Bouët, Koumassi and Yopougon. Patriarchal socio-cultural norms, harmful traditional practices and unequal gender power structures exacerbate women and girls’ exposure to violence. Young girls and girls with disabilities are at a heightened risk of experiencing violence as their access to information and services remains limited. The project works to ensure that school-age girls and young women, including those with disabilities, are empowered to report sexual and gender-based violence and that survivors of violence and their families have access to adequate multisectoral services. The grantee also works to engage key stakeholders in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and to encourage them to take action against violence against women and girls. In addition, the project educates school principals, journalists, social workers and government officials on sexual and gender-based violence in order to equip them to be part of prevention efforts.

Fund for Congolese Women, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Project title: Preventing and Reducing Sexual Violence in Schools
Description: A project implemented by the Fund for Congolese Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo focuses on fighting sexual violence in schools.
In line with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6, the project contributes to the realization of women’s rights and gender equality by building an active and empowered civil society for the future through work to mentor and empower girls as activists. Girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo face multiple challenges in completing their education, including early and forced marriage, pregnancy and limited access to socio-economic resources. Schoolgirls subjected to violence by teachers, male peers and school authorities often face stigmatization by their communities, which pushes them to drop out of school, limiting their life project long into the future. This intervention aims to reduce violence against the girl child, including harmful practices and early marriage and to increase respect for women’s rights. The project works to empower girls, boys and teachers with ways to deal with sexual violence and harassment in schools by creating a safe space where victims can report abuse without fear of retaliation, by providing education on the dynamics of sexual violence and the laws that exist to prevent it and by supporting survivors to pursue justice. Capacity building and mentoring of young girls, teachers and school personnel on different national and international laws preventing, and prosecuting, sexual violence forms an important part of the project. In addition, the grantee works to educate the community – focusing on key stakeholders such as traditional chiefs, community leaders, religious figures and parents – on how to address sexual violence in schools.

United Funding and Development for Underage Mothers (UFDUM), Liberia

Project title: Action to end Sexual and Gender Base Violence
Description: In Liberia, girls and young women are particularly at risk of domestic violence and sexual abuse and far less likely to report such cases, than adults. A project implemented by the United Funding and Development for Underage Mothers seeks to address this by leading advocacy campaigns to prevent of all forms of sexual violence and by promoting gender equality and women’s economic independence. The project contributes to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 of by promoting inclusive multi-stakeholder cooperation and civil society dialogue. The grantee engages with community leaders, youth groups, women-led organizations and women and adolescent girls across 20 communities, 10 in each of the two target counties (Montserrado and Cape Mount). It works to enrich the knowledge of traditional and religious leaders in order to improve the effectiveness of community justice structures in preventing sexual and gender-based violence, specifically against adolescent and young girls. The project brings together relevant actors from the health, justice, gender, education, youth and sports sectors and representatives from one-stop centres, safe homes, civil society organizations and schools and universities to advocate for an end to violence against women. In addition, it engages media organizations (online, print and radio) in capacity-building activities to foster a gender-responsive approach. The project also builds on existing platforms and collective actions to influence prevention policies and works closely with relevant government ministries and community-based groups to improve protection from violence and improve services for women and girl survivors.

Art & Global Health Center Africa (ArtGlo), Malawi

Project title: Make Art for Women's Activism (MAWA)
Description: Gender inequality, violence against women and girls, and lack of access to sexual and reproductive health rights remain pervasive in Malawi. A project implemented by the Art & Global Health Center Africa (ArtGlo) works with civil society organizations in five districts in Southern Malawi to support their efforts to change harmful norms that give rise to violence against women and girls and to mainstream women’s empowerment. The proposal contributes to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by focusing on building and strengthening the knowledge and capacity of civil society organizations as agents of change. ArtGlo works to improve the capacity of local government and civil society organization networks – including those working with women and girls living with disabilities and with lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and girls – to advocate for change at the district and national levels. Notably, ArtGlo trains civil society organizations on participatory arts and on the implementation of projects to address violence against women and girls and sexual and reproductive health. It also builds their capacity regarding project management, monitoring and evaluation and communication more generally. The main project activities consist of training on human-centered design, participatory art, sexual and reproductive health programming, as well as network building, convening collaborative local and district meetings, producing information and education materials and holding advocacy events.

Alliances for Africa, Nigeria

Project title: Strengthening Stakeholder’s Engagement in the process of VAPP enactment and Implementation
Description: A project implemented by Alliances for Africa in Nigeria works to promote the full implementation of the 2015 Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) in Nigeria. The intervention also seeks to address existing harmful socio-cultural norms that foster the gender inequalities underpinning violence against women and girls. The project, which is implemented in Imo State in the South-East Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria, contributes to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by building coalitions between state and civil society actors to establish mechanisms for the effective implementation of legislation on ending violence against women and girls. The project engages women-led organizations, key government institutions, traditional leaders, men and boys, community leaders, state legislators and schools. It employs a prevention, activism, protection approach, which revolves around four strategies:
1) strengthen the capacities of women’s organization to push for implementation of the VAPP Act;
2) coordinate the efforts of key state and civil society actors to advocate for better implementation;
3) engage in data collection and evidence building for effective advocacy; and
4) advocate and lobby for the implementation of the VAPP Act with legislators and community leaders.
Alliances for Africa’s implementing partners for the project include the National Human Rights Commission, the State Ministry of Gender and Social Development, the National Orientation Agency, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, the Child Protection Network, the police, civil society organizations and the media.

Centre for Women Studies and Intervention, Nigeria

Project title: Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women (ATEVAW)
Description: A project implemented by Centre for Women Studies and Intervention aims to tackle female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in four local government areas of Nigeria’s Cross-River State. The project aligns with Spotlight Outcome 6 in that it establishes mechanisms for social accountability to support advocacy by women’s rights groups and their influence on preventing and responding to violence against women and girls. The Centre for Women Studies and Intervention trains paralegals and human rights groups to monitor and report violations and abuses related to FGM/C. The project also follows up on the enforcement of existing laws and facilitates the development of community codes of conduct and rules and regulations related to the protection of women’s rights. The project adopts a gender transformative approach to improve the prevention of violence against women and girls by traditional leaders and community members through a gender paradigm shift from patriarchy to gender equality in behaviour, practices and attitudes. The project employs a capacity building, advocacy/lobbying, multisectoral action approach, including the use of media and participation (including sensitization and inter-generational dialogue). The implementing partners of the project are Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and the Cross-River Women Empowerment Network.

HACEY Health Initiative, Nigeria

Project title: The Stop Cut Project - Ending Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting in Southwest Nigeria
Description: A project implemented by the HACEY Health Initiative in Nigeria focuses on Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States in the South-West of the country which have a particularly high prevalence of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C). The HACEY Health initiative identified a need for a collaborative multidisciplinary approach to develop local strategies to end FGM/C in Nigeria and the project contributes to the achievement of Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by fostering partnerships with local organizations. The project works to improve collaborative efforts championed by civil society organizations, survivor groups and the media to address factors such as a lack of public awareness of existing policies and laws and underreporting of FGM/C and to enhance the capacity of existing anti-FGM/C groups and civil society organizations to advocate for policy implementation and enforcement. The project involves a review of existing policies and laws to identify gaps and advocate for FGM/C specific policies and establishing and providing capacity-building support for an alliance to advocate against FGM/C. The alliance brings together civil society organizations, the media, survivors, influencers and former practitioners of FGM/C. The grantee also works to foster positive behavioural change in the community regarding FGM/C practices.

Scripture Union West Africa, Nigeria

Project title: Improved action against Sexual Gender Based Violence and Harmful Practices in Benue and Kaduna states, Nigeria.
Description: A project implemented by the organization Scripture Union West Africa in Nigeria focuses on preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, with a specific focus on violence in schools and early/child marriage. The project, implemented in four local government areas of Benue and Kaduna States, contributes to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 through its overall goal of reducing sexual assault against women and girls and child marriage. The impact of existing legislation in Nigeria against sexual violence and abuse has yet to reach effectively into many communities and most perpetrators of violence against women and girls continue to go unpunished. In addition, harmful cultural and social norms that legitimize gender-based violence remain widespread, further exacerbating the problem. The project engages educational professionals, members of the public and communities, men and boys and uniformed personnel in order to foster a change in attitudes and the provision of essential services. Scripture Union West Africa collaborates with key institutions on legal and health issues while building their capacity on a holistic approach to both preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, including those who are internally displaced, through better access to services.

Integrated Disabled Women Activities, Uganda

Project title: Eliminating Sexual and Gender Based Violence Among Women and Girls with Disabilities
Description: A project implemented in Uganda by the women’s organization Integrated Disabled Women Activities works to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities, including intimate partner violence, sexual violence, non-partner violence, and sexual and gender-based violence against refugee and internally displaced women and girls. The project contributes to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by supporting women and girls with disabilities, who face multiple forms of discrimination, to influence and advance progresses in ending violence against women and girls. Women and girls with disabilities in Uganda experience high levels of violence because of their gender and disabilities, including sexual abuse by relatives and community members. They also often live in unstable relationships because men do not want to identify with them in public and society views them as “ineligible partners”. The project focuses on promoting equitable access to disability-friendly multisectoral services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and empowering women and girls with disabilities to demand their rights. The project also works to strengthen protection mechanisms and bolster the capacity of women and girls living with a disability and disabled people’s organizations to promote gender equality and effective responses to sexual and gender-based violence and to act as liaison focal people and advocate for others.

Zambia National Women's Lobby, Zambia

Project title: Building capacities of vulnerable girls in schools to address Sexual Gender Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights issues 
Description: A project implemented by the Zambia National Women's Lobby (ZNWL) works to empower school-age girls to protect themselves from and speak out against sexual and gender-based violence. The project contributes to the achievement of Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it engages other civil society organizations in the target provinces in order to build synergy and strengthen the movement against sexual and gender-based violence. Despite government efforts to end sexual and gender-based violence, girls below the age of 18 in Zambia’s Central and Eastern provinces continue to face high levels of physical, sexual, psychological and emotional violence. Harmful practices are also prevalent, including forced, early and child marriages. ZNWL is a women’s organization that supports women and girls to proactively take up leadership roles. With this school-based project, it works to improve girls’ access to essential information and to ensure that teachers have the capacity needed to implement and adhere to policies, action plans and accountability systems aimed at preventing and ending sexual and gender-based violence. The project also promotes community-based action against harmful practices that contribute to sexual and gender-based violence. Teachers, school authorities, community members and other civil society organizations are engaged as strategic partners and agents of change. The project employs complementary intervention strategies, building on existing Girls Leadership Clubs, and leverages peer-to-peer education on sexual and gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health rights to enable girls and teachers to recognize and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.

Bethany Project, Zimbabwe

Project title: Speak Out and Act Against Sexual Gender Based Violence
Description: A project implemented by the Bethany Project, a non-governmental organization, works to enhance the protection of girls and young women in rural communities in the Zvishavane District of Zimbabwe from sexual and gender-based violence and to encourage reporting where such violence occurs. The project contributes to the achievement of Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by engaging in networking and coordinated programming among civil society organizations on ending violence against women and girls. The project, which is conceptualized around a human rights-based framework works to enhance community engagement in preventing sexual and gender-based violence and to strengthen community knowledge around referral pathways for survivors. An important focus of the project is empowering young women and girls by ensuring they have the information needed to identify, prevent and report violence, as well as engaging their families, guardians, men and boys, community leaders and civil society organizations in efforts to address violence against women and girls. The project employs complimentary approaches, including the organization of community-based fora for women and girls, mentorship and peer support, community dialogues and radio and social media advocacy. Collaboration is key to the project and the grantee works with, among others, the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, the Women Lawyers Association, the African Women Film Makers, Disabled Women in Africa and Iraisers International.

Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Project title: Voices from the Fringes- Sex Workers, Adolescent Girls and Young Women Action on Sexual and Gender Based Violence
Description: A project implemented by the Family AIDS Caring Trust Zimbabwe, a faith-based civil society organization, works to address the high incidence of sexual and gender-based violence and HIV infection among female sex workers and adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe.
The project will contribute to the Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by bringing issues affecting female sex workers and adolescent girls and young women to the fore and by targeting districts with higher female sex worker activity. High rates of violence against sex female sex workers and adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe are compounded by additional barriers faced by survivors in accessing justice and services. Stigmatization means that the needs of sex workers are often not addressed in policy and programming agendas on gender-based violence. In order to address these challenges, the project works to increase female sex workers’ knowledge of their rights as well as enabling increased responsiveness from service providers and communities. The project involves collaboration with both national and community-based civil society organizations to foster coalitions to address sexual and gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Among the organizations engaged are the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers, the Advocacy Core Team and the Key Populations Forum. The project contributes to movement building by strengthening organizations focused on ending violence against the target groups and integrating their specific concerns into the agendas of women’s movements to ensure that their needs are addressed in national level policy discussions.

Institute for Young Women Development, Zimbabwe

Project title: What Women Want: Building grassroots women’s collective power against gender based violence in Zimbabwe
Description: A project implemented by the Institute for Young Women’s Development and JASS Southern Africa works to build Zimbabwean women’s capacities and to strengthen alliances to influence social norms and values on violence against women. In alignment with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6, the project works to strengthen women’s local leadership and their capacity to safely and effectively design and implement their own programmes on ending violence against women. The project, which is implemented in Manicaland and Mashonaland, focuses on improving community practices and norms aimed at advancing women’s safety and access to and control over economic resources and shifting local decision makers’ norms and values to better support women’s safety and access to economic opportunities. The project also works to strengthen local and national mechanisms and networks addressing violence against women and to strategically engage civil society organizations, community-based groups, faith-based organizations and traditional leaders to achieve the desired change. The project employs a movement-building approach that combines activist leadership and capacity development with cross-movement alliance building, community organizing, activist safety and strategic advocacy.

Voluntary Service Overseas, Zimbabwe

Project title: Speak it loud’ amplifying the voices of women’s movements to address VAW/G in Zimbabwe
Description: “Speak it Loud”, a project implemented in Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Manicaland provinces of Zimbabwe by the international non-governmental organization Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) seeks to amplify the voices of women’s movements to address violence against women. The project is relevant to the objectives of Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 as it holistically strengthens, mobilizes and builds the capacity of women’s rights groups and civil society organizations to collaboratively implement and utilize social accountability mechanisms to foster effective advocacy in preventing and responding to violence against women. Working with its implementing partner, Women and Law in Southern Africa Zimbabwe, the VSO project seeks to ensure that women’s rights groups and associated civil society organizations provide quality, inclusive and sustainable interventions to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls and advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. One of the focuses of the project is to improve networks, partnerships and opportunities among women’s rights and civil society organizations to share knowledge and documentation and conduct joint advocacy on preventing and responding to violence against women. It also seeks to ensure that women’s rights groups and civil society organizations implement quality and efficient social accountability and monitoring mechanisms to lead and inform impactful advocacy and design, implement, monitor and take ownership of quality programmes on preventing and responding to violence against women and girls.

Multi-Country/Regional

International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS, Burundi, Ghana, South Africa

Project title: Strengthening the Capacity of Religious Leaders to End Violence Against Women and Girls in South Africa, Burundi and Ghana (SCREVAW) 
Description: A project implemented in Burundi, Ghana and South Africa by the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA+) works to address violence in the family, violence against the girl child (harmful practices, early/child marriage and forced marriage), sexual harassment and violence in schools and places of worship. The project contributes to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by working with faith-based organizations to encourage positive change in communities regarding violence against women and girls. In all three countries there is a culture of silence and impunity around sex-related crimes and domestic and sexual violence are considered a private matter that should not be reported. INERELA+ seeks to empower faith leaders through education, knowledge and skills to become agents of change to eliminate stigma and prejudice in their communities. Working mainly through faith-based communities and places of worship, the project targets both urban and rural areas, including informal settlements. The primary partners in the three countries, BUNERELA+, SUNERELA+ and INERELA+, are responsible for setting up partnerships with implementing congregations, faith-based organizations and relevant agencies in each country. The project focuses on increasing women and girls’ knowledge about sexual and gender-based violence, influencing men to change behaviour and norms to respect women’s rights and encouraging survivors to break the silence and report such violence. The project employs a variety of strategies including dialogues and campaigns across different faith communities to reduce stigma; capacity building of religious leaders to be agents of change in their congregations; and creating safe spaces in different places of worship for survivors of violence to increase access and referral to care and treatment services.

Sonke Gender Justice, Eswatini, South Africa

Project title: Safe at Home, Safe in Relationships - A Gender Transformative and Women’s Rights Centered Approach to Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in Eswatini and South Africa 
Description: A project by Sonke Gender Justice, a women-led human rights civil society organization, focuses specifically on all forms of intimate partner violence/violence in the family and femicide in Eswatini and South Africa. Both countries have robust laws in place to promote gender equality and respond to domestic violence, but implementation remains inconsistent. In line with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6, the project contributes to the realization of women’s rights and gender equality by building an active and empowered civil society that holds governments accountable for the implementation of legislation. Sonke Gender Justice has a long history of working on gender equality, preventing and responding to gender-based violence and works closely with co-implementing partners Training Services and Healing Center for Women and the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse, both of which also have long histories of working on gender-based violence in the region. The project adopts a multi-level equitable norms and community advocacy approach to transform masculinities and shift social norms in order to ultimately prevent violence against women and girls. It targets a mix of urban, semi-urban and rural locations in the two countries; all the project sites have common social issues of poverty, high crime levels, informal housing structures, low income and high unemployment. The project employs strategies including community-driven gender transformative workshops and dialogues with individuals and community-based organizations. It also seeks to improve the implementation of laws, policies and plans by bolstering referral networks, counselling and court support as well as strengthening coalitions to advocate for change and hold government to account. Another key aspect of the project is strengthening the evidence base and organizational capacity, including by collecting, documenting and disseminating stories of change. All three partner organizations engage with and support various coalitions and networks to broaden civil society’s capacity to influence policy processes and monitor policy implementation.

Gender Links HQ, Eswatini, Madagascar, South Africa

Project title: Sunrise Campaign: Local action to end violence and empower women
Description: A project implemented by Gender Links, a women-led civil society organization, targets all forms of intimate partner violence as well as sexual harassment and violence in public places against women and girls, including women with disabilities and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.
The project contributes to Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 by using its existing platform to encourage gender responsive governance at the local level that empowers the community. The project, implemented in Eswatini, Madagascar and South Africa, works to train survivors as entrepreneurs in order to help them escape violence. The current project scales up a previous pilot – the award-winning Sunrise Campaign – which worked with 400 centres of excellence in local government to support survivors of violence through entrepreneurship training linked to local economic development. Gender Links also works with men and boys and the general public to lead local campaigns on zero tolerance for violence against women to change attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence and reduce any potential backlash against the project. The project is anchored by local councils in each country that have already gone through the 10 initial stages to be a centre of excellence for gender – those that have been in the programme for between five and 10 years and have performed well. Councils are also selected according to their potential to be “hubs” or mentors to neighbouring councils as part of efforts to strengthen local ownership of the programme. By getting local councils to commit resources and run campaigns to end gender-based violence, in partnership with civil society organizations, this project contributes to a longer-term, systematic approach; lessons learned will be shared across the countries, regionally and internationally.

LATIN AMERICA

Centro de Intercambio y Servicios para el Cono Sur Argentina, Argentina

Project title: Voces de mujeres y actors locales articuladas para la accion contra la violencia a mujeres y ninas 
Description: A project implemented by the Centro de Intercambio y Servicios para el Cono Sur Argentina (CISCSA) in three regions of Cordoba province in Argentina works to address all forms of gender-based violence in public spaces. The project is in line with the Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to strengthen and empower local women’s civil society organizations to put the issue of violence against women onto the public policy agenda in a country where it continues to be viewed largely as a private matter and is met at best with a family-oriented response. CISCSA, a women-led non-governmental organization, works to increase the political influence of women’s civil society organizations and women activists, with a clear focus on women's right to housing and to a life free of violence. This project, which employs a human rights-based approach, works to empower local women’s civil society organizations and facilitate strategic alliances between key actors in order to restore the right to safely use and enjoy public spaces to women and girls, including women political activists and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. Among the complementary intervention strategies adopted by the project include producing and disseminating knowledge about violence against women and girls and the tools to address it and multisectoral cooperation between women’s and civil society organizations and local government.

Fundación Andhes (Abogados y abogadas del Noroeste argentino en Derechos Humanos y estudios sociales), Argentina

Project title: Acceso a la justicia para mujeres cis y trans y lesbianas en situación de violencia en el Noroeste argentino. Del diagnóstico a la acción 
Description: A project implemented by the Fundación Andhes (Abogados y abogadas del Noroeste argentino en Derechos Humanos y estudios sociales), a women-led non-governmental organization, works to address violence against cisgender, transgender and lesbian women in the Tucuman and Jujuy provinces of Argentina.
The project is in line with the Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 as it seeks to strengthen and empower local women’s civil society organizations representing groups that face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. Cisgender, transgender and lesbian women in Argentina face high levels of marginalization and violence. This project focuses in particular on violence in public spaces, including sexual violence by non-partners, sexual harassment, femicide and institutional violence. The grantee promotes the sexual and reproductive rights of cisgender and transgender women and provides legal support in cases of institutional violence against marginalized groups. For this project, Fundación Andhes is working in partnership with CLADEM, an international network of women’s organizations and activists. The project focuses on mapping obstacles to access to justice and equipping cisgender, transgender and lesbian women at risk of violence with the tools to defend, demand and promote their rights. It also works to ensure that public policies are influenced by local protection mechanisms. The project employs complementary intervention strategies, including undertaking research to inform campaigns and training curricula on access to justice; capacity building among women and girls on legal procedures; awareness-raising via campaigns; and promoting new public policies.

Fundación para la Promoción de la Economía Social y Cooperativa (FUNDECO), Argentina

Project title: Consejería Integral para la prevención y asistencia de la violencia contra las mujeres y el acompañamiento para la reinserción laboral de las víctimas
Description: A project implemented in Argentina by the Fundación para la Promoción de la Economía Social y Cooperativa (FUNDECO), a non-governmental organization, works to support and empower women survivors of intimate-partner violence to access justice. The project is in line with the Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 as it seeks to strengthen and empower local women’s civil society organizations representing marginalized groups facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. Complex discriminatory procedures put a great burden on survivors of violence and often contribute to their revictimization. This project focuses in particular on lesbian, bisexual and transgender women who face many obstacles in accessing justice. FUNDECO aims to advance the adoption of social, economic and cultural policies promoting local solidarity, gender equality and the empowerment of youth. With this project its focus is on ensuring that survivors of violence against women are better informed about their rights and have access to proper legal advice and counselling in their neighbourhoods. The aim is to ensure that women survivors gain the confidence to claim and defend their rights and are better equipped to break the cycle of violence. The project employs a two-fold strategy, identifying women leaders in the target neighbourhoods and training them to become local counsellors and at the same time providing psychosocial support and professional counselling to women survivors.

Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local, El Salvador

Project title: Mujeres organizadas impulsan acciones para el cumplimiento de la legislación, políticas y planes que garanticen el derecho a una vida libre de violencia para las mujeres y niñas 
Description: A project implemented by the Asociación Colectiva de Mujeres para el Desarrollo Local (Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local) works to build the capacities of women activists and organizations to end violence against women in El Salvador. The project is aligned with the Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to establish multi-stakeholder collaboration, partnerships and networks to end violence against women at both local and national levels. El Salvador has alarmingly high levels of violence against women and one of the highest rates of femicide in Central America. The grantee, a women’s rights non-governmental organization, focuses on advancing gender equality and in particular on sexual and reproductive rights, the promotion of a life free from violence for all women and women’s economic empowerment and political participation. This project involves the platform “Nada sobre nosotras, sin nosotras” (“Nothing about us without us”) and two non-governmental organizations, ANDRYSAS and NIMD. The project works to build the capacities of women activists and encourage them to participate in the decision-making process at both municipal and national levels. It also seeks to strengthen the capacities of women’s organizations and to mobilize them in networks to successfully engage in inter-institutional spaces of dialogue with the agencies and actors responsible for addressing violence against women and girls. The project employs tested methodologies and its key strategies include capacity building of key structures and stakeholders in the field of ending violence against women; fostering community mobilization and active citizenship through advocacy and lobbying; strengthening women’s networks; and enhancing the capacities of women aspiring to take part in decision-making processes.

Asociación Mujeres Transformando, El Salvador

Project title: Participación ciudadana en procesos de incidencia y de cuestionamiento de las diferentes formas de violencia y acoso sexual en mujeres y niñas adolescentes del área textil en siete municipios de El Salvador
Description: A project implemented by the women’s organization Asociación Mujeres Transformando in El Salvador focuses on rising levels of physical, sexual and psychological violence against women in the workplace. The project is aligned with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to establish multi-stakeholder collaboration, partnerships and networks at both local and national levels to end violence against women and girls. Led by the Asociación Mujeres Transformando, the project involves several women’s non-governmental organizations as co-implementing partners – ASTRADOMES, CEDM, REDFEM and the Alianza para la despenalización del Aborto. The project works to increase public awareness of violence against women and girls, particularly among young women, and to encourage local authorities to take action and incorporate women’s rights, including the right of women and girls to live a life free from violence, in their political agendas. Another important element of the project is carrying out advocacy campaigns lobbying for the ratification and implementation of the International Labour Convention concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work (No. 190) by relevant authorities. The project employs complementary intervention strategies including capacity building among key structures and stakeholders on ending violence against women; enabling transformation at personal, behavioural, cultural and structural level; fostering community mobilization; and strengthening women’s networks.

Movimiento de mujeres indigenas TZUNUNIJA/IXTZUNUN, Guatemala

Project title: Mujeres y Niñas Mayas conscientes, activas y propositivas en la prevención y desnaturalización de las violencias y el femicidio 
Description: A project implemented in Guatemala by the Movimiento de mujeres indígenas TZUNUNIJA/IXTZUNUN works to end the diverse forms of violence affecting indigenous women and girls and empower them to enjoy, demand and protect their human rights. The proposed intervention is in line with the Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 as it seeks to strengthen the expertise and the capacity of local indigenous women’s organizations to advance progress on ending gender-based violence. Indigenous women in Guatemala face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and the levels of physical and sexual violence against them remain high, as does impunity for these crimes. Obstacles to justice for survivors include a lack the knowledge among indigenous women about how to report violence and attitudes and justice systems that tend to normalize such violence. The Movimiento de mujeres indígenas TZUNUNIJA/IXTZUNUN is a Guatemalan women-led network of organizations working to end violence against indigenous women which focuses on the Mayan and Garifuna ethnic groups. As part of its work to improve the justice system, it has developed tools to prevent and respond to the specific forms of violence affecting indigenous women and increased the visibility of this issue. In partnership with CARE Guatemala, the grantee employs complementary intervention strategies, including: capacity building of key actors; access to essential services for survivors; training on ending violence against women and girls and international legal standards; and advocacy actions to facilitate debate and encourage the adoption of prevention measures by the government.

Centro de Derechos de Mujeres, Honduras

Project title: Fortaleciendo liderazgo y articulacion para prevenir la violencia contra las mujeres en Honduras 
Description: A project implemented in Honduras by the Centro de Derechos de Mujeres works to prevent all forms of violence against women, including domestic, sexual, psychological and patrimonial violence and femicide. The project is aligned with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to advance progress on ending violence against women though multi-stakeholder collaboration, partnerships and networks of civil society groups. Honduras has one of the highest rates of femicide in the world. The Centro de Derechos de Mujeres is a women-led organization that defends and promotes women’s human rights through legal aid, legal education, advocacy and community organizing. It has contributed to the creation and strengthening of dozens of collectives and networks of women against gender-based violence, strengthened the leadership of hundreds of women's rights defenders and activists and promoted the formulation of laws such as the Law against Domestic Violence. This project, carried out in partnership with Associated for Fairness, JASS and the Center for Health Promotion and Family Assistance, covers 12 municipalities in the seven departments of the country with the highest rates of violence against women and girls. Among the strategies employed are strengthening the advocacy capacities of civil society organizations and community groups to overcome unequal power relations vis-à-vis local and national authorities. The project also works to increase the capacity of public officials and the justice sector to strengthen their technical capacities for the prevention, protection, reporting and enforceability of rights. It also works to mobilize communities against violence by strengthening broad civil society alliances.

Centro de Estudios de la Mujer, Honduras

Project title: Redes de mujeres y jóvenes impulsando comunidades libres de VCMN
Description: A project implemented in Honduras by the Centro de Estudios de la Mujer - Honduras works to strengthen the capacities of organizations and networks at local and territorial levels so that they can promote strategies to end violence against women and girls that are adapted to their particular contexts.
The project is aligned with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to advance progress on ending violence against women and girls though multi-stakeholder collaboration, partnerships and networks across civil society groups. Led by Centro de Estudios de la Mujer, the project is implemented in partnership with Plataforma 25 de Noviembre, a network of 22 women's organizations, and CARE Honduras. It focuses on preventing violence against women and girls in rural and urban setting in six municipalities and six secondary schools in Francisco Morazán and Intibucá. The project involves organizations and networks that support indigenous women and members of ethnic groups, women at risk of violence and young women as well as teachers and parents. The project employs strategies including developing the knowledge and skills of relevant organizations and encouraging political advocacy from organizations and networks of women and young people. It also works to change attitudes and behaviours regarding gender-based violence in educational settings, communities and social networks.

Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, A.C., Mexico

Project title: Fortaleciendo la respuesta efectiva del Estado a la violencia feminicida, particularmente en torno a la implementación de las Alertas de Violencia de Género contra las Mujeres y al acceso a la justicia
Description: A project implemented by Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, A.C. works to foster networks of civil society and women’s organizations; promote the adoption and implementation of government policies on ending violence against women and girls; and improve access to justice in cases of femicide and enforced disappearances. This project is aligned with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to establish multi-stakeholder collaboration, partnerships and networks on ending violence against women and girls at both local and national levels. Violence against women and girls, particularly femicide and enforced disappearances, is on the rise in Mexico and women and girl survivors of violence are often ignored or receive an inadequate response from those responsible for ensuring their security and access to essential services. Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, A.C. is a women’s non-governmental organization that works to preserve the rule of law and human rights, focusing specifically on protecting women’s sexual and reproductive rights, promoting public policies and mechanisms to prevent and end violence against women and girls and improving access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence. For this project, the grantee works with two co-implementing partners – the Instituto Mexicano de Derechos Humanos y Democracia and Justicia Pro Persona. The project employs complementary intervention strategies including: capacity building of key stakeholders, including government officials and service providers, to respond to women survivors of violence appropriately and ensure their access to justice; fostering community mobilization and enhancing women’s organizations; advocacy campaigns; and lobbying for the adoption of policies and mechanisms on ending violence against women and girls.

Conservación, Investigación y Aprovechamiento de los Recursos Naturales, Mexico

Project title: Mujeres indígenas por la defensa de sus derechos humanos y una vida libre de violencia 
Description: A project implemented in Mexico by Conservación, Investigación y Aprovechamiento de los Recursos Naturales, A.C. works for further recognition of indigenous women’s rights and bring to the fore the issue of violence against them. It also aims to raise awareness among indigenous women about their human rights, including the right to live free from violence, and increase their ability to defend themselves. The project is aligned with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6 in that it seeks to establish multi-stakeholder collaboration, partnerships and networks on ending violence against women and girls at both local and national levels. The project is implemented in the municipalities of San Juan Lalana and Santiago Jocotep in Mexico, where the services and structures to effectively protect the rights of indigenous women and girls are lacking and violence and discrimination are widespread. The project is led by Conservación, Investigación y Aprovechamiento de los Recursos Naturales, A.C., an indigenous women’s non-governmental organization, and implemented in partnership with the National Commission on Prevention and Ending Violence against Women (CONAVIM) and the civil society networks, Redes Ciudadanas and Redes Institucionales. The project employs complementary intervention strategies, including: capacity building of key structures and stakeholders on ending violence against women and girls; awareness raising among local indigenous communities to promote women’s rights; fostering community mobilization and active citizenship through advocacy; providing multisectoral services, including access to justice for survivors of violence; and behaviour change strategies fostering community efforts on addressing violence against indigenous women and girls.

Infancia Común, Mexico

Project title: Mi cuerpo es mío 
Description: A project implemented in Mexico by Infancia Común works to increase knowledge among school communities on preventing and identifying child sexual abuse and strengthening the capacities of school communities for action and referrals if such abuse occurs. The project is aligned with Spotlight Initiative Outcome 6, as it requires the collective action of strategic actors at the community level and involves strenghtening the coordination of civil society actors and organizations. The project focuses on the Oaxaca region where a history of conflict, poverty and instability has led to forced displacement, internal migration and the establishment of informal settlements and where sexual violence against women, disappearances and femicide have become increasingly common. Infancia Común, a women-led civil society organization, has developed a prevention-based project called “Mi cuerpo es mío” (“My body is mine”) using schools in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca as an entry point. It has cultivated parternships with grass-roots organizations and community members to advance progress on gender equaliy and women’s empowerment and ending violence against women and girls. The project works to raise awareness among children and adolescents, primarily through a new training process on rights and violence prevention. It employs participatory action methodologies, based on playful, reflexive and experiential activities in school spaces to trigger capacity building processes and coordination with key community actors such as parents and teachers. It also uses identified schools as a collective space enabling the community to engage in positive processes related to their children.

Original article by UN Trust Fund