What we do
The global Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls is a United Nations initiative in partnership with the European Union and other partners.
We are the world’s largest targeted effort to end all forms of violence against women and girls.
Launched with a seed funding commitment of €500 million from the European Union, we represent an unprecedented global effort to invest in gender equality as a precondition and driver for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Spotlight Initiative is responding to all forms of violence against women and girls, with a particular focus on domestic and family violence, sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices, femicide, trafficking in human beings and sexual and economic (labour) exploitation.
As a demonstration fund for action on the Sustainable Development Goals, we are demonstrating that a significant, concerted and comprehensive investment in gender equality and ending violence can make a transformative difference in the lives of women and girls.
Our interventions focus on four mutually-reinforcing programming pillars:
Laws, policies and institutions
1 of 4
Promoting laws and policies to prevent violence, discrimination and address impunity by:
- Advocating at all levels of government
- Providing technical assistance and capacity building
- Ensuring active and meaningful participation of women
- Improving the quality, accuracy and availability of data on violence against women
Strengthening national government and regional institutions to:
- Better inform decision makers
- Develop fully-financed national action plans on ending violence against women and girls
- Promote gender-responsive ministries and ensure linkages across institutions on migration, disability, poverty, ethnicity, age, location, education, overall violence and conflict
2 of 4
Promoting gender-equitable social norms, attitudes and behaviours through:
- Community-based prevention strategies
- Mobilizing women, girls, men and boys at community level
- Programming in formal and informal education settings
- Engaging men and boys
- Embracing women’s economic empowerment as a strategy for preventing violence
3 of 4
Making high-quality essential services for survivors of violence available and ensuring accountability for perpetrators by:
- Ensuring services provided meet global standards
- Building capacity of service providers
- Improving service provider coordination and coverage
Supporting local civil society and women's movements
4 of 4
Promoting strong and empowered civil society and autonomous women’s movements by:
- Advocating for laws and policies that protect the participation of autonomous women’s groups
- Ensuring civil society participation in development planning
- Building capacity of civil society organizations
- Deploying innovative financing mechanisms
- Strengthening partnership and networking opportunities for civil society
Civil Society Engagement
As one of Spotlight Initiative’s most critical partners, meaningful investment in civil society is a key priority for the Initiative. Women’s organizations at national and local levels are the main partners of Spotlight Initiative across all outcome areas.