Snapshot 2021: Indicators of success
“Women are experiencing several pandemics: the pandemic of violence, the pandemic of poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Maria Virginia Diaz Mendez, Project Coordinator, Centro de Estudios de la Mujer (Centre for Women’s Studies)
The year 2021 was pivotal as the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) introduced its Strategic Plan 2021-2025 with a vision to enable civil society, especially women’s rights organizations, to play a central role in delivering survivor-centred and demand-driven initiatives to end violence against women and girls. The plan focuses on improving:
- prevention of violence
- access to essential services
- institutional effectiveness.
The UN Trust Fund monitored 21 common indicators across its entire portfolio of grantees, with five indicators on grantees’ adaptation to COVID-19. The indicators provide a comprehensive insight into civil society-led results in preventing and ending violence against women and girls globally.
Through the work led and supported by 157 UN Trust Fund grantees in 2021, policy-makers, local community leaders and members, and formal and informal feminist networks were all involved in efforts to prevent violence. Among them, 11,656 community, faith and traditional leaders advocated for changes to behaviour, practices and attitudes to prevent violence against women and girls.
In Zimbabwe, for example, the Institute for Young Women’s Development, a UN Trust Fund grantee under the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative, engaged and built alliances with key decision-makers, including traditional and faith leaders, to work closely with local women activists to end violence against women and girls.
In 2021, 65,718 women and girls used specialist support services, including shelters, helplines and healthcare. This was partly due to capacity building activities by UN Trust Fund grantees for 11,662 individual service providers and institutions to improve quality of services. Some 19,748 women and girl survivors of violence were given help to access justice, such as receiving legal aid, support to reach court or assistance to follow up with reports of violence.
Despite the many challenges of 2021, civil society and women’s rights organizations continued to shape local COVID-19 recovery plans and responses to other crises to ensure inclusion of the needs of women and girls who had survived or were most at risk of violence. This included strengthening of the capacity of 1,049 local, sub-national and national government institutions to design and implement institutional reforms and strategies to prevent violence against women.
Notably, 59,491 women and girls received training to participate in public life and exercise leadership to effect changes during a period of crisis when women and girls were at heightened risk of violence.
Additionally, UN Trust Fund grantees helped to develop and improve 312 official guidelines and protocols to strengthen services for women and girls.
In Argentina, intense advocacy efforts by FUSA, which provides sexual and reproductive health services, and its partner, the disability rights organization REDI, led to the passing of a legal amendment guaranteeing that women living with disabilities can be the sole consenter for any decisions affecting their bodies. Malena Correa, Project Coordinator at FUSA, said:
“Many had to resort to their families for support both inside and outside of the home. In many [gender-based violence] cases the aggressor is a family member or cohabitant.”
You can read the UN Trust Fund's Annual Report 2021 here.