The impact report of the Spotlight Initiative, the world's largest targeted effort to end all forms of violence against women and girls, was released at the UN headquarters in New York. Despite Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, some 650,000 women and girls were provided with gender-based violence services through this joint UN and European Union (EU) program working to stamp out what is arguably one of the most prevalent human rights violations.

What the report said

  1. The report details how partners rapidly adjusted programs to address the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls amid ongoing global challenges.
  2. Covid-19 continues to exacerbate violence against women and girls in a context of sustained and new backlash against women's rights globally, Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women said at the impact report release at the UN headquarters.
  3. In addition to scaling up services during the pandemic, the program assisted civil society organisations to swiftly adapt to the changing environment and to strengthen online services, such as tele counselling and hotlines.
  4. Additionally, some 880,000 men and boys were educated on positive masculinity, respectful family relationships, non-violent conflict resolution and parenting.
  5. With the aim of ending all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030, the EU and the UN have been collaborating since 2017 to empower, promote, and protect the rights of women and girls worldwide.
  6. The Spotlight Initiative is a $564 million program that deploys targeted, large-scale investments in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific.