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UNFPA Trinidad and Tobago: Providing Support to Combat Family Violence under the Spotlight Initiative

The European Union – United Nations Spotlight Initiative is a multi-year programme that commenced in January of 2020.  It aims at addressing all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), and harmful practices, and in the Caribbean, the focus is on family violence.  It utilizes a transformative, human rights and evidence-based approach, addressing unequal power relations between men and women, gender equality and women's empowerment, in line with the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Notably, the Initiative takes into consideration the specific needs of women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, upholding the principle of 'leaving no one behind.'

Regionally, the Spotlight Initiative focuses on 4 significant pillars, including, working to ensure institutions are gender-responsive; establishing comprehensive and evidence based prevention programmes aimed at changing social norms and gender stereotypes; promoting the collection and use of quality, comparable data to inform public policy, advocacy, policy making, and delivery of complimentary services to improve prevention; and supporting autonomous women’s movements to influence, and monitor policy and to ensure accountability.

Under pillar 3, UNFPA Trinidad & Tobago will lead an intervention to develop a culturally appropriate regional strategy, guidelines and action plan for working with men and boys to promote positive masculinities and girl’s empowerment.  This partnership project with the Institute of Gender and Development Studies at UWI will develop an intersectional Caribbean model of cultural change combined with multimedia advocacy materials for several audiences.  We will also partner with CARIMAN to establish/strengthen advocacy platforms, including community dialogue, public information and advocacy campaigns as part of the social norms initiative.

Also under this pillar is a partnership between UNFPAand ILO to work alongside the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) to develop awareness on the linkage between family violence and the world of work.  The workplace is a key site for prevention messaging and decision makers in these non-state institutions are better able to advocate for the implementation of legislation and policies to end VAWG, including family violence, and for gender equitable norms, attitudes and behaviours as well as women and girls’ rights in the workplace.  CEC and CCL play a pivotal role in promoting this among their member organizations across the Caribbean, and supporting them in developing policies, training and campaign materials is fundamental for them to play that role in order to end VAWG and family violence.