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Spotlight Initiative: Impact Report 2020-21


Impact Report 2020-21: Relevance

  • GS 2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora – their structure, mandate.


Impact Report 2020-21: Context

  • Recently, Spotlight Initiative’s impact report for 2020-21 was released where it was reported that despite COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, some 650,000 women and girls were provided with gender-based violence services.


Spotlight Initiative: Impact Report 2020-21_3.1

Impact Report 2020-21: Key findings

Positive findings

  • More than 1000 local and grassroots women’s rights organizations reported having greater influence and agency to work on eliminating violence against women and girls.
  • The percentage of national budgets dedicated to ending gender-based violence increased by 32%.
  • The number of perpetrators convicted of gender-based violence increased by 22% as compared to the previous year.
  • 84 laws and policies have been signed or strengthened across 17 countries.
  • 1 million young people joined in- and out-of-school programmes.
  • 880,000 32% men and boys were educated on positive masculinity, respectful family relationships, non-violent conflict resolution and parenting.
  • 65 million people were reached through 80 locally tailored behaviour change multimedia campaigns in more than 15 languages.

Negative findings

  • The COVID-19 global pandemic made 2020 an incomparable year. With national lockdowns and mobility restrictions, and health and support services closed or limited, violence against women and girls escalated at a staggering rate.
  • Despite global concern and growing evidence of the situation’s severity, the crisis of male violence against women and girls has deepened.
  • COVID-19 continues to devastate communities across the globe, and women’s rights have significantly regressed.
  • Women have been the hardest hit by unemployment, forced into poverty, and widely bear the increased toll of unpaid care responsibilities – all of which increase vulnerabilities to greater violence and exploitation.
  • In the past year, as life has shifted increasingly online, so too has violence, harassment and abuse.
  • Girls who marry and stop going to school typically live with fewer opportunities and can face greater risks of domestic violence and health problems – including maternal mortality – feeding a dangerous cycle of oppression, harm and poverty for future generations.


Spotlight Initiative: Impact Report 2020-21_4.1

About Spotlight Initiative

  • Spotlight Initiative is a joint collaboration of the European Union and the United Nations (UN Women) since 2017 to empower, promote, and protect the rights of women and girls worldwide.
  • The Spotlight Initiative is a EUR 500 million programme that deploys targeted, large-scale investments in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific.
  • It aims to end all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.


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