Renewed commitment: Second phase of Spotlight Initiative launches in Ecuador

Seated crowd watching stage
L to R: UN Resident Coordinator in Ecuador Lena Savelli; First Lady of Ecuador, Lavinia Valbonesi; EU Ambassador to Ecuador, Charles-Michel Geurtz. Photo: UN Women/Karen Toro
March 18, 2024

QUITO, Ecuador - On March 18, Phase II of the Spotlight Initiative was launched in Ecuador. This initiative, in collaboration with state entities, women's and civil society organizations, seeks to reduce femicide through actions that prevent and respond to violence against women and girls (VAWG), contributing to the full implementation of the Comprehensive Organic Law for the Prevention and Eradication of Violence against Women (LOIPEVCM) and the legal framework on this scourge.

Young people performing dance
Youth group performing at the launch. Photo: UN Women/Karen Toro

The agencies of the United Nations System, UN Women, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), will implement this phase with funding of US$2.7 million from the European Union (EU) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

During the event UN Resident Coordinator of Ecuador Lena Savelli highlighted the importance of guaranteeing a life free of violence for women and girls in Ecuador, and involving various social actors.

Ambassador of the European Union in Ecuador Charles-Michel Geurts highlighted the integration of the fight against gender-based violence in bilateral cooperation with Ecuador. 

CU of woman
Front: President of Fundación Aldea Geraldina Guerra; back: Executive Secretary of Gender Equality National Council Samia Marmol. Photo: UN Women/Karen Toro

U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Michael Fitzpatrick underscored the crisis of gender-based violence as a human rights abuse and a manifestation of power inequality.

Director of the Aldea Foundation Geraldine Guerra expressed the hope of civil society and stressed the importance of working together to achieve a life free of violence.

The National Government also expressed its commitment. First Lady of Ecuador and special guest Lavinia Valbonesi expressed the Government's support to fight gender-based violence. 

Minister of Women and Human Rights Arianna Tanca announced a timetable to implement the Single Registry of Violence (RUV), foreseeing its full implementation by February 2025. 

Woman speaking at lectern
Minister for Women and Human Rights, Arianna Tanca. Photo: UN Women/Karen Toro

Legislator and President of the Parliamentary Group for Women's Rights Rosa Mayorga pointed out the importance of addressing inequalities affecting women.

The figures on femicide in Ecuador are alarming. According to the Aldea Foundation, in 2023, 321 femicides were registered and 40 women have already been killed by femicide in the first quarter of 2024. This highlights the importance of the implementation of the second phase of the Spotlight Initiative to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.

Crowd of men and women looking toward stage
Front row from left: Mexico Ambassador to Ecuador Raquel Serur; UNPD Ecuador Resident Representative Matilde Mordt; US Ambassador to Ecuador Michael Fitzpatrick; UN Women Ecuador Representative Ana Elena Badilla. Photo: UN Women/Karen Toro

Ecuador is the second country in the world, after Uganda, and the first in Latin Americas and the Caribbean to sign an agreement to implement a second phase. Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, established as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5) in the 2030 Agenda, are fundamental to sustainable development.

For more information, contact:

Isabel Iturralde, UN Women

Mario Naranjo, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Office


Like what you read? Spread the word.