18 September 2017, Brussels/New York – Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today.
The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) are embarking on a new, global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) – the Spotlight Initiative.
The Initiative is so named as it brings focused attention to this issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The name reminds us that violence often takes place in the dark, is denied or rendered invisible and that it cannot survive in the light. It also highlights the importance of targeted investments in women and girls to achieve sustainable development, making this renewed and unwavering commitment of the EU and the UN visible.
It is a major obstacle to the fulfilment of women’s and girls’ human rights and to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It occurs worldwide, cutting across all generations, nationalities, communities and spheres of our societies, irrespective of age, ethnicity, disability or other background.
The EU-UN Spotlight Initiative is supported by a multi-stakeholder trust fund, with the EU as its main contributor in the order of half a billion Euro, which is open to other donors.
The Spotlight Initiative will deploy targeted, large-scale investments in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific and the Caribbean, aimed at achieving significant improvements in the lives of women and girls.
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