First-Hand Experiences from African Countries on Ending Gender-Based Violence are Revealed in a UN Women and African Union Report

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First-Hand Experiences from African Countries on Ending Gender-Based Violence are Revealed in a UN Women and African Union Report

Source: AUN News

The report “Lessons Learned, Promising Practices, & Challenges to Overcome” on combating gender-based violence was released as part of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Program (SIARP) by the UN Women Liaison Office to the AU and the African Union Commission, Women, Gender and Youth Directorate (WGYD). It includes essential case studies and practical suggestions from the eight African nations implementing the Spotlight Initiative.

In addition to providing pertinent recommendations from Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, the paper focuses on promising practices, lessons learned, obstacles, and mitigating options. Health, cultural, socioeconomic, and political aspects of violence against women must be addressed across these nations by altering individual, group, and societal social behaviour.

Lessons from various nations

  • The Spotlight Initiative programmes in Nigeria, Mozambique, and Liberia explored cooperative efforts with state actors, civil society, and the community in delivering the programme. The Spotlight Initiative programmes in Malawi, Niger, and Mali adopted civil society engagement to carry out their activities successfully. These countries’ success with the Initiative is shared by similar promising practices, including elevating the role of capacity building, social media, educational awareness, multistakeholder engagement, and community engagement.
  • The program’s success in these nations depends on its capacity to communicate messages as concrete acts to various populations effectively. Several broad lessons can be derived, including how to create carefully chosen advocacy messages and foster civic engagement for a wider audience;
  • To address legal frameworks and policy reforms, the Spotlight Initiative programmes in Zimbabwe and Uganda demonstrate similar innovative partnerships and creative engagements with governments and local authorities. Several generalised lessons can be drawn from this, including how to leverage and nurture judicial alliances and implement pertinent policies. Significant progress has been made in eradicating VAWG in the eight African nations where the Spotlight Initiative is being used. Further creative partnerships, practical techniques, lessons gained, and chances to improve programmatic synergies between national and regional levels.

Following the Annual Continental Coordination Platform in June 2021, the “Lessons Learned, Promising Practices, & Challenges to Overcome” report was released. The study details the takeaways from the Platform, where the eight nations implementing the Spotlight Initiative exchanged best practices, discovered new trends, encountered operational difficulties, and developed strategies for upcoming programming.

Regional Program for Africa of the Spotlight Initiative (SIARP)

The SIARP was introduced in 2020 to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and harmful behaviours and address their connections to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRH&RR). The eight nations participating in the program’s implementation were Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The African Regional Programme supports the eight Spotlight country programmes with a substantive allocation of EUR30 million, focusing on three pillars: legislation and policies; quality and reliable data; and strengthening women’s movements and pertinent civil society organisations. The Spotlight Initiative is an investment case for SDG 5 with an overall allocation of EUR250 million.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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