Launch of the UN Trust Fund Strategic Plan 2021-2025‘Focusing on women’s rights and civil society organizations’
The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women’s (UN Trust Fund) Strategic Plan 2021-2025 is grounded in the right of all women and girls to live free of violence. It seeks to achieve this goal through global solidarity and partnerships that enable civil society organizations, especially women’s rights organizations, to deliver survivor-centred and demand-driven initiatives to help feminist movements grow globally.
The new Strategic Plan is based on extensive consultations with stakeholders, donors and grantees, who called for key details including:
- increased flexible funding and more grants that cover longer periods;
- opportunities to pilot and test innovative approaches to ending violence against women and girls;
- increased resources to support and build the capacity of civil society organizations and women’s right’s organizations; and
- more space for knowledge-sharing, learning and dialogue among grantees.
Those consulted stressed the ongoing reality of shrinking spaces for civil society and women’s rights organizations, alongside the promising rise in young feminist mobilization. This helped to solidify the UN Trust Fund’s ongoing focus in the new Strategic Plan on women-led women’s rights and civil society organizations in the Global South.
The goal of eradicating violence against women and girls requires work and investment that creates sustainable projects and organizational resilience. The new Strategic Plan therefore recognizes that:
- Long-term funding is needed for projects to achieve transformative change in the lives of survivors, strengthen institutions and create sustainable shifts in social norms.
- Flexible and core funding is critical for civil society and women’s organizations to ensure they can survive and thrive.
Therefore, under the new Strategic Plan, partners will be mobilized to resource CSOs/WROs with reliable, flexible and long-term funding.
In addition, the plan continues to focus on:
- Improving access to essential specialist, safe and adequate services, including access to justice, for survivors or those at risk of violence.
- Transforming social norms, a key factor in preventing violence against women and girls.
- Ensuring more effective legislation, policies and national action plans that are shaped by women and girls in decision-making processes.
- Deepening collective knowledge through high-quality evaluations, sharing lessons learned and good practices, and recording practitioner-based knowledge gained by those working on projects.
The Strategic Plan will lean on lessons learned from the UN Trust Fund’s past 25 years and the results of the most recent Strategic Plan 2016-2020. This includes the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girls. For instance, as the pandemic spread, the needs of UN Trust Fund grantees and people they support changed, requiring rapid adaptations to their working methods and increased support. The UN Trust Fund deployed its human and financial resources to respond promptly and flexibly, rooted in the strong relationships with grantees and focused on their needs and those of rights holders. These, and other, lessons learned will influence the implementation of the new Strategic Plan.