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Spotlight Initiative

Forging multistakeholder partnerships to end violence against women & girls

The Challenge: Lack of action to end violence against women & girls

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence. 137 women across the world are killed every day by a partner or member of their own family – and these numbers escalated at a staggering rate in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spotlight initiative – a joint initiative from the UN Women, UNDP, UNICEF, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Population Fund, with the funding support of the European Union – was established to pool resources and expertise to implement stronger, well-integrated programs and offer a new model of multilateral partnership.

Spotlight Initiative partnered with APCO to introduce this initiative to a global stage with a view to accelerating partnerships to deliver on its goals.

The Approach: Multi-stakeholder engagement to inform and advance action  

APCO’s team supported Spotlight Initiative in its engagement at World Economic Forum 2022 Annual Davos Meeting, helping convene a truly cross-sectoral group of leaders from government, civil society and the private sector, all committed to learning more and engaging in efforts to end violence against women and girls. APCO’s identified key stakeholders that can accelerate action on these important topics and organized a high-level roundtable that brought together policy leaders from EU Commission, Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UN Foundation, as well as a number of corporate and civil society leaders. The event also featured the compelling global Rise exhibit, “What Were You Wearing?” focusing on the stories of survivors of sexual assault.

The Results Promising perspectives for the future

The event drew attention to Spotlight Initiative’s achievements so far: with programs in 25+ countries, it has led to 2.5 million young people join in- and out-of-school programs on gender-equitable norms and values; 130 million people have been reached through behavior change campaigns, and 1.6 million women and girls have been provided gender-based violence services. USD $179 million have been allocated to civil society, women’s and grassroots organizations. Additionally, in 2021 alone, gender-based violence convictions more than doubled across Spotlight Initiative countries and 198 laws and policies were signed or strengthened across 41 countries.