The Spotlight Initiative in Liberia organized an open day for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who have expressed their interest in the implementation of the programme across its different pillars in the five most-affected counties, Montserrado, Lofa, Grand Cape Mount, Nimba and Grand Gedeh.
During the meeting, the participating civil society organizations received an orientation on partnering with UN agencies, the use of the UN Partnership Portals and how to develop concept notes.
Also, it was a good opportunity to positively interact with the participating UN agencies and the European Union on the context and opportunities to address issues related to women and girls.
The European Union welcomed this initiative of an opening day to jointly and in a transparent manner inform CSOs on the scope of the programme and evaluation procedure in the Call for Expression of Interest (EOI).
The Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Liberia, Mr Theo Kaspers encouraged civil society organisations to take this opportunity "in the interest of the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for the sake of Liberian women and girls.
“We are looking forward to many good quality concept notes to support the implementation under the Spotlight Initiative Programme in Liberia," Kaspers stressed.
Representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection presided the open day. As the lead Ministry in the Spotlight Initiative, they are involved in certifying CSOs to partner with the UN agencies in the implementation of the joint EU-UN programme..
The Spotlight Initiative is an EU – UN global partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, launched on 18 June 2019 by the Government of Liberia, European Union, Civil Society Organisations and the United Nations in Liberia.
It aims through priority interventions, to tackle violence against women and girls by addressing structural causes across six key Pillars of; legislative and policy framework; institutional strengthening; changing norms and behaviours; delivery of essential services; management of data and strengthening women’s movements and civil society organizations.
The purpose of the programme is to reduce the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices and increase women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
It was formulated through an extensive and inclusive participatory process, which identified the priority interventions to tackle violence against women and girls by addressing structural causes, thus ensuring sustainability.
The programme is governed by a Joint Steering Committee co-chaired by the Government (Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection) and UN Resident Coordinator.
Committee members include representatives from the EU, Sweden, Ireland, CSOs, women’s groups and relevant Government Ministries; and Heads of Agencies of the Recipient United Nations Organizations including UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF and OHCHR and associated Agencies like IOM and UNHCR.