Latin America is home to 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world. Photo: Freya Morales / UNDP

New York, 27 September - With a $58million (€50 million) investment, the European Union-United Nations Spotlight Initiative will fund new programmes in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, to help women and girls live free from violence and to eradicate femicide in Latin America, where in 17 countries almost 1700 women were murdered in 2014.

"Ending violence against women and girls is on 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," said EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini. "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."

“Addressing the issue of femicide comprehensively from each of these different angles is essential to successful and lasting results,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed. “No woman should die because she is a woman.”

 “Gender-based violence affects every single country, and women and girls everywhere,” said UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “With the Spotlight Initiative, the EU and the UN are working to galvanize broad collaboration with focused intent, across UN agencies, civil society partners and governments, so as to end violence against women and girls once and for all.”

The new programmes will address legislative and policy gaps, strengthen institutions, promote gender-equitable attitudes, and provide quality services for survivors and reparations for victims of violence and their families.

The Spotlight Initiative will work closely with civil society, UN agencies and governments of the five programme countries to provide comprehensive, high-quality interventions that can save women and girls' lives. A special focus will be put on reaching women and girls that are most at risk of violence and whom traditional programmes do not reach, leaving no one behind.

Latin America is home to 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world. In 2016, 254 women and girls were killed in Argentina, 349 in El Salvador, 211 in Guatemala, 466 in Honduras and 2,813 in Mexico.

The fund was drafted by the UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed along with UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA. Other UN agencies will participate at the country levels.

In Latin America, UNDP has partnered with UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF and other partner agencies, in a work that will focus on the elimination of the violence against women and girls, and in particular the fight against femicide, through strengthening and implementation of laws and public policies, work with state institutions to improve their response; prevention through evidence-based programs and campaigns, the establishment of essential services for victims and survivors; the collection and use of data on the prevalence and incidence of cases of violence against women and girls and quality, disaggregated and comparable femicides; and the work and strengthening of civil society organizations in their work in the elimination of violence against women and girls and femicide.

The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multiyear partnership between European Union and United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. Launched with a seed funding commitment of $580million (€500 million) from the European Union, the initiative represents an unprecedented global effort to invest in gender equality and women's empowerment as a precondition and driver for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, governments across the world committed to address all inequalities and forms of discrimination. The 2030 Agenda commits “to leave no one behind” - a commitment that no goal will be considered at achieved unless it is met for all segments of society, for everyone, everywhere, including those furthest behind. This unfortunately also includes millions of women and girls who still suffer in silence every day from different forms of violence and abuse.

Icon of SDG 05 Icon of SDG 10

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean 
Go to UNDP Global