The Government of Zimbabwe, the European Union and the United Nations launched Spotlight Initiative today. The spotlight is meant to cab violence against women and girls.
The launch was presided over by the President of Zimbabwe, Cde E.D Mnangagwa, represented by Hon. Minister Professor A. Murwira, Mr Christian Leffler thepockets European External Action Service Deputy secretary; Miss Henriette Geiger the Director General for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission and the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Bishow Parajuli.
“violence against women and girls often go unreported and are usually concealed within families. My Government is committed through the Spotlight Initiative to put in place measures that will unmask the challenge and enable policy makers to realize that the issue has negative impact on Gross Domestic Product and national development that needs to be dealt with swiftly.” Said President Mnangagwa in a statement read on his behalf by Hon. Minister Prof. A Murwira.
The UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Bishow Parajuli said: “the Initiative tackles head-on sexual gender based violence by paving the way for women and girls to have a “voice”, “choice” and “control” over their lives, particularly their ability to make decisions, pursue education, provide for themselves and their families and actively participate in their community.”
Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Hon. Dr. Sithembiso Nyoni said, “no-one shall be left behind as we boldly march towards realizing our national vision 2030. It will be foolhardy to believe that vision 2030 will be realized without embracing the elimination of violence against women and girls as one of the key national development priorities.”
The programme targets directly and indirectly 11 million beneficiaries particularly rural women and girls, women and girls living with disabilities, and women living with HIV.
Sixty percent of the Spotlight Initiative country programme intervention will be implemented at community level in 23 districts in five provinces. The five provinces are: Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Manicaland, Matabeleland South, and Harare.
The Spotlight Initiative with a financial commitment of Euros 500 million by European Union is a global joint United Nations and European Union initiative to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in all continents. Africa will receive Euro 250 million, half of the global amount for eight countries. USD$ 34 million has been committed for the Spotlight Initiative country programme in Zimbabwe, which will be implemented by UN in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development and civil society organisations.