Spotlight Initiative Program Launching in Bobonaro

The Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus, inaugurated the “Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls” Program, on July 24th, 2020, in Bobonaro municipality.

The ceremony took place in the municipality Administration facilities, in the presence of members of Government, Representatives of the European Union and United Nations, municipal authorities and heads of civil society organizations.

The Spotlight Initiative result of joint work between the European Union and United Nations, with the aim of eliminating all types of the violence against woman and girls worldwide. The initiative brings the theme of the violence to the centre of the global efforts for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The program is implemented in Timor-Leste in a joint venture between the Government, Civil Society, the European Union and the United Nations.

The event marks the beginning of a series of Municipality’s inaugurations of the Spotlight initiative, which, in the first phase, covers three priority municipalities, Bobonaro, Ermera and Viqueque. The spotlight initiative is schedule to be launched on the August 6th, in Ermera, and on August 13th will be in Viqueque.

The program foresees an investment of USD$ 15 million, over a three year period, with the aim of strengthening the country legal structures and institutions, promoting positive social norms, increasing access to support services for violence survivors, improving data collection and use, to better formulate policies, and strengthening partnership with civil society organizations.

The Secretary of State, during the launching, said that “the responsibility of ending violence in our society, in the future, depends on everyone efforts”.

The Secretary of State also stated that “through the Spotlight Initiative launching, our community will be able to put together their ideas and efforts, to ensure that the violence and the discrimination, against women and girls, but also men, or people with disability, or for the sexual orientation, cease to exist in our society in the future”.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Roy Trivedi, stressed that “the gender equality is one of the necessary preconditions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The spotlight initiative means supporting a national movement in Timor-Leste, by promoting a multisectoral approach in eliminating the violence against women and girls”.