Bringing violence against women out of the dark and into the spotlight

Bringing violence against women out of the dark and into the spotlight

The European Union and the United Nations announced yesterday a €50 million financial contribution to end violence against women in Latin America as part of the Spotlight Initiative.

Femicide in Latin America is scarily high, claiming the lives of 12 women every day – 98% of the murders go unprosecuted. 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of violence against women in the world are Latin American.

In light of this, the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative will fund new and innovative programmes in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico which will aim to free women in these countries from violence.

The programmes have been designed to eradicate femicide in Latin American countries by addressing legislative and policy gaps, strengthen institutions and promote gender-equitable attitudes. One of the most important areas that the new programmes will cover includes providing and enabling quality services for survivors and victims of violence.

Speaking on the announced €50 million funding for the programmes, Commissioner Neven Mimica said: “Killing a woman for being a woman is the most outrageous crime one can conceive. We will work with governments and other partners to tackle the root causes of femicide, which are often rooted in patriarchal attitudes, misogyny, sexism and objectification of women.”

Frederica Mogherini, high representative and vice-president of the Commission has also responded to the new programmes saying: “Ending violence against women and girls is on the top of our agenda. With the Spotlight initiative, we have a global coalition around this objective and are mobilising all efforts and actions in education, awareness raising, prevention and delivering justice. We want to make sure that women and girls never have to live in fear again, in Latin America, in Europe and around the world.”

What is the Spotlight Initiative?

The Spotlight Initiative is an EU-UN collaboration for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls all around the world. The Initiative has been developed and created off the back of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015 among governments all over the world, committing to address all inequalities and forms of discrimination.

It was launched with €500 million funding from the European Union and represents an unprecedented global effort to invest in gender equality as a precondition and driver for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Spotlight Initiative brings discrimination and violence against women into the spotlight; an issue which usually takes place in the dark and is usually invisible to the outside world. Targeted investments from the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative are imperative to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and happens more often than is reported. Indigenous women and those from ethnic, racial and sexual minorities often face some of the highest levels of discrimination across social, political and economic dimensions. The Spotlight Initiative fights for the implementation of women’s rights around the world.

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