What we do
The global Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls is a United Nations initiative supported by 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.
The 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 six mutually-reinforcing programming pillars:
Laws and policies
Laws and policies
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
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
- Ensure linkages across institutions on migration, disability, poverty, ethnicity, age, location, education, overall violence and conflict
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
Making high-quality essential services for survivors of violence available by:
- Ensuring services provided meet global standards
- Builing capacity of service providers
- Improving service provider coordination and coverage
Improving the quality, accuracy and availability of data on violence against women and girls by:
- Enhancing the capacity of national statistics offices
- Improving data presentation to inform decision-making
- Using data to guide programme monitoring
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.