The Spotlight Initiative in Liberia aims to reduce the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices and increase women’s and girls’ access to sexual reproductive health and rights.
The programme is implemented in the five most-affected counties and was formulated through an extensive and inclusive participatory process. This process identified the priority interventions needed to tackle violence against women and girls by addressing structural causes, thus ensuring sustainability.
Direct beneficiaries: 613,578 | Indirect beneficiaries: 1,987,701
Comprehensive Prevention Strategy approaches: Looking at the interplay of various factors at individual, family, community and institutional levels and identifing multiple drivers of violence to facilitate community-driven solutions that address root causes of violence and identifies actions for all stakeholders to prevent violence against women and girls. One of the interventions is the integration of Alternative Rites of Passage for female genital mutilation into existing cultures and traditions by working with cultural leaders.
Empowerment of adolescent girls: Providing livelihood support, mentoring and coaching on sexual and reproductive health and rights and negative cultural practices. Mentoring and training female students, including those of discriminated and marginalized groups, via academia and local civil society organizations to build their capacity as community leaders, mobilizers and monitors, and engage them as key programme implementers. The girls will also receive on-the-job training in technology, data collection etc. In this way, the programme will promote sustainable opportunities for women and girls, while improving girls’ livelihoods and education.
Building synergies across networks and working with men and boys: Spotlight partners with the National Council of Chiefs and Elders, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Paramount Chiefs and Traditional leaders, male networks and women’s movement groups to support them as agents of change at institutional and community levels. The programme engages with men and boys to identify preventive factors and response strategies to violence. New approaches to masculinity and family will be constructed to develop new standards of male behavior, especially for youth, through existing networks and school programmes.
New technologies: Consolidating the current fragmented data collection and analysis across the country for sexual gender-based violence, harmful practices and sexual and reproductive health and rights through an integrated sexual gender-based violence Information Management System. The programme uses U-reporting for community mobilization and monitoring to ensure that young people have their voices heard on issues that affect them.
Private sector engagement: Coordinating and collaborating with private sector companies using public and private partnership modules to look at possibilities of employment and financial inclusion for women in terms of grants, job opportunities and other empowerment programmes.
Operational innovation: In support of the 2030 Agenda, the Spotlight Initiative incorporates the reforms of the United Nations Development System.