UN Women: Fighting for Women's Rights

UN Women: Fighting for Women's Rights. 45504.jpegProjects in thirty-four countries around the world are receiving funding for groundbreaking efforts to protect women and girls from violence, one of the many projects promoted by UN Women combating what Executive Director Michele Bachelet describes as "a public health emergency".

For UN Women Executive Director Michele Bachelet, "Violence against women is a human rights and public health emergency. But it is not inevitable. With sufficient political will, funding, and carefully developed and targeted programmes, violence against women can be significantly reduced. Through its support, the UN Trust Fund helps key stakeholders do just that."

The UN Trust Fund to end violence against women and girls is providing 17.1 million USD in grants to finance groundbreaking efforts to protect women against violence, covering initially 22 initiatives in 34 countries, among which are Iraq and South Sudan.

According to the UN "Violence against women and girls is one of the world's most widespread human right violations. It cuts across the boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. And it happens everywhere: at home and at work, on the streets and in schools, during times of peace and conflict. Up to 70 percent of women and girls will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime."

Since it was set up in 1996, the Trust Fund has financed 339 initiatives in 127 countries and territories and has conceded 78 million USD in grants.

The main aims of the Fund are to:

  • Prevent violence against women and girls by empowering groups especially at risk of violence, including adolescent girls and indigenous or ethnic minority women, and engaging strategic  groups such as youth, men and boys, and traditional and faith-based leaders in prevention efforts;
  • Expand the access of women and girls affected by violence to services, including legal assistance, psychosocial counselling, and health care, and building the capacity of service providers to respond effectively to the needs of women and girls affected by violence; and
  • Strengthen the implementation of laws, policies and action plans on violence against women and girls through data collection and analysis, building capacities of professionals charged with implementation, and strengthening institutions to become more effective, transparent and accountable in addressing violence against women.

The grants this year are "to finance innovative and practical work at the grassroots level" and will cover a wide range of strategic intervention projects, from increasing access to support for survivors of violence in Iraq, supporting HIV-positive women to connect with traditional leaders in Malawi, dealing with stigmatisation and abuse, reducing violence in the workplace in Bangladesh and India, to accelerating the services provided by the justice and health ministries in Uruguay.

Other initiatives in 2011 include a centre in South Sudan to develop guidelines for the clinical response to cases of rape and an information system to monitor and register cases of violence; the standardization of protocols among 48 women's groups in Mexico to investigate femicide; a Gender Justice network in Kenya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone and the implementation of the Domestic Violence Eradication Act in Indonesia.

More than 2,500 applications from 123 countries were received for grants in 2011, requesting around 1.2 bn. USD for projects. Grantees are usually NGOs.

How to contact the Trust Fund to apply for a grant:


Source: UN Women

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey



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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey