EU-UN Spotlight Initiative: Ending violence against women and girls

EU-UN Spotlight Initiative: Ending violence against women and girls


One year after its launch in New York, Spotlight is at the forefront of the global fight to end violence against women and girls.

Welcomed by Heads of State and Government and by civil society and local ambassadors, Spotlight is now ready to see concrete programmes put into action.

A "Safe and Fair" programme for EUR 25M has just been launched in South-East Asia, where Spotlight is focusing primarily on ending female trafficking and labour exploitation.

As part of Spotlight, EUR 32M are devoted to concrete projects to address gender based violence in forgotten crises: The initiatives will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2019 and include activities in Yemen, Iraq and Palestine, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Sudan, Mali and Chad; Ghana, Liberia and Mali.

In Latin America, the programme focuses on ending femicide in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico and on empowering regional networks. Heads of state and government and civil society activists from the countries involved reaffirmed their commitment to rally behind the Spotlight initiative in the margins of the UN General Assembly last September. In a region where an average of 12 women are killed every day, it will be key to change the underlying social norms that normalize and perpetuate violence.

In February, Commissioner Mimica will officially launch the Spotlight programme for Africa, which aims to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence, including harmful practices. The programme worth EUR 250M will be implemented across Liberia, Malawi, Mali Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It will also include a regional approach to scale up existing initiatives on fighting female genital mutilation and child marriage and joint activities with the Africa Union. The launch of the programme will take place ahead of the African Union Summit.

The launch of the Pacific regional Spotlight programme will follow one month later and focus on ending domestic violence in the region. In March, Commissioner Mimica will announce the programme with the UN and meet governments and civil society organizations in the region. This will be followed by actions to tackle family violence in the Caribbean region.



Violence against women and girls still takes place every day, whether at home, at work, at school, in the street, or online. As many as 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.

The European Union and the United Nations have launched the Spotlight Initiative, a multi-year partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in September 2017.

The EU has offered initial seed funding of EUR 500 million inviting other donors and partners to join the Initiative to broaden its reach and scope.

Public participation, ambitious political action built on evidence-based policies, as well as increased resources and knowledge generation are all vital to the Initiative. To learn more, visit the Spotlight Initiative website or get in touch with the contacts provided: Adekoyejo Adeboye (UN).

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we invite you to say no to violence and discrimination against women and girls! 


Cecilia Suarez, Spotlight Initiative Champion