Spotlight Initiative: a hope to fight femicide in Mexico

May 29, 2019

The government of Mexico, together with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN), launched the Mexico Spotlight Initiative, a partnership that seeks to prevent and combat femicides and violence against women and girls.

The government of Mexico, the EU and the UN signed the cooperation agreement at the Ministry of the Interior of Mexico on Wednesday 29 May 2019. The Initiative will be implemented in five municipalities in three states: State of Mexico, Chihuahua and Guerrero. The programme is based on a coordinated action of different actors, including local governments and civil society, amd includes a $12 million investment from the European Union.

"Spotlight Initiative is a global initiative to combat a global problem, collaboratively with the UN and governments of five continents ", explained the Director General of International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, Stefano Manservis. "A life free of violence for women is the foundation of a peaceful society, the pillar of development. With Spotlight Initiative - together - we can change lives," he said.

Ending femicides

“Femicide is the most extreme form of violence against women. In Mexico, 9 women are murdered daily”, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

“Femicide is the most extreme form of violence against women", said UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “In Mexico, 9 women are murdered daily”, she deplored. “We have to make Spotlight Initiative in Mexico work. We have to make sure that there will not be any more femicide," said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Spotlight Initiative has been created so that there will not be any more cases such as the one of Mariana Lima.”

Irinea Buendía Cortés, human rights activists and mother of Mariana Lima Buendía, a femicide victim, shared her story with the audience. “All we want is justice. We will not get our daughters back, so justice is the minium we should get!" She added that “each violent death of a women should be investigated with a gender perspective". “Spotlight is a hope, un breath of fresh air. We hope that it will be implemented in close collaboration with the associations of victims". 

"The name of the Initiative comes from the necessity to put the light on the generalized violence that women and girls experience daily around the world," declared journalist and human rights activist Lidia Cacho.

In her statement, the Ministry of Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero recognized the new colloboration with the EU and the UN. "We are uniting our efforts to find the best ways to eliminate violence against women and girls," she said. "The government of Mexico is dediacted to ensure women's safety". 

“Spotlight is a hope, un breath of fresh air." - Irinea Buendía

An Initiative based on six pillars

The Initiative is based on six pillars: (1) improve laws and policies to avoid discrimination and violence; (2) strengthen the institutions in charge of preventing, investigating and eliminating violence, especially femicide; (3)  promote gender-equality norms, mentalities and behaviors; (4) guarantee and make accessible quality health, social, legal and police services; (5) improve data collection systems that allow informed public policy decisions; and (6) strengthen women's groups and civil society organizations that promote women's rights.

In Mexico, the programme will last 4 years and will be implemented by six UN agencies in close coordination with the federal government, state governments and civil society organizations.

More information:

Article from ONU Mexico 

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