Press Release: Government of Tajikistan, UN and EU officially launch the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls
25 November 2021, Dushanbe - On International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the Government of Tajikistan, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) gathered to launch the Tajikistan chapter of the ground-breaking Spotlight Initiative which aims to end sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls. The event also launched the national 16 Days of Activism Against gender-based violence campaign.
A wide range of stakeholders - government officials, UN agencies, EU representatives, donor community, national and international organizations, civil society, media, youth groups and activists joined the event in solidarity to promote action on the issue of violence against women and girls.
Violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, is widespread around the world, and has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Tajikistan, according to the Government’s Demographic Health Survey data of 2017, 31 per cent of ever-married women have experienced some form of gender-based violence.
Tajikistan is one of the two countries in Central Asia where the government, the UN and the EU are partnering to increase financing and expertise through the Spotlight Initiative to end sexual and gender-based violence.
This year the Spotlight Initiative and the 16 Days of Activism campaign will work to raise awareness, facilitate dialogue, promote increased commitments and highlight joint progress on reducing gender-based violence.
Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan noted: “The Spotlight Initiative is a joint flagship programme of the EU and UN that aims to reverse the negative trends in violence against women and girls with serious investments and solutions. At the same time, it is a demonstration of the UN Development System reform in action on the Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating that a significant, concerted, and comprehensive investment in gender equality and ending violence can make a transformative difference in the lives of women and girls and entire society.”
Note: The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the EU and the UN to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. The overall vision of the Spotlight Initiative in Tajikistan, which will be implemented by December 2022, is that women and girls enjoy their right to a life free of violence. The programme will contribute to the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence by responding to the needs of women and girls and addressing the underlying causes of violence against women and girls using a multi-sectoral and intersectional approach.