The UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women (UN Trust Fund) is the only global grant-making mechanism that is dedicated exclusively to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls. The UN Trust Fund raises and distributes funds to support multi-year demand-driven projects to address, prevent and ultimately end violence against women and girls in three priority areas: improving access for women and girls to essential, safe and adequate multi-sectorial services; furthering the implementation of legislation, policies, national action plans and accountability systems; and promoting the prevention of violence against women and girls. Over the past 25 years, its grantees have impacted the lives of women and girls in every region, addressing complex and diverse forms of violence against women and girls through innovative projects driven by the demands of their particular contexts. In 2020, the UN Trust Fund supported 150 projects aimed at preventing and addressing violence against women and girls with grants totalling 72.8 million in 71 countries and territories across five regions.
In 2020, 242,599 women and girls directly benefitted from support that let to transformative changes in their lives by UN Trust Fund grantees. The projects provided life-saving services and empowered women and girls directly, including changing the lives of a minimum of 26,519 survivors of violence, 21,040 women and girls with disabilities and 11,747 refugee and internally displaced women and girls. In total, the UN Trust Fund grantees reaches 31,071,058 people in 2020, aiming to create safe and thriving environments for women and girls.
The work of the UN Trust Fund and its grantees in 2020 and 2021 continued to be marked by the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the adverse consequences generated by measures undertaken to curb its spread. The UN Trust Fund responded promptly to the crisis by putting in place a 5-point action plan to assist grantees in adapting their interventions to the new context generated by the COVID-19 crisis. The UN Trust Fund subsequently consolidated essential data from Civil Society Organisations and Women’s Rights Organisations (CSOs/WROs) into two knowledge briefs providing key insights to inform partners’ advocacy, policy and funding decisions.
In response to challenges that were jeopardising current projects, and in some cases threatening institutional survival, in partnership with the European Union and the United Nations Spotlight Initiative (EU/UN Spotlight Initiative) an additional USD 9 million was allocated for immediate and ongoing support to 44 UN Trust Fund grantees in sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, the UN Trust Fund launched its Strategic Plan 2021-2025, which 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 organisations, especially women’s rights organisations, 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 organisations and women’s rights organisations; and
More space for knowledge-sharing, learning and dialogue among grantees.
The UN Trust Fund’s priority areas of focus include:
The UN Trust Fund organized a number of events in order to raise its visibility, build new partnerships and expand its outreach to the corporate sector. On 25 November, the UN Trust Fund announced its 18th call for proposals and launched its 2014 fundraising drive with the message “They count on us, we count on you”.Hide
In Solomon Islands, the Regional Rights Resource Team of the Pacific Community, funded by the UN Trust Fund, is implementing a pilot project aimed at improving access to justice for women survivors of violence in the provinces of Guadalcanal and View More
In Solomon Islands, the Regional Rights Resource Team of the Pacific Community, funded by the UN Trust Fund, is implementing a pilot project aimed at improving access to justice for women survivors of violence in the provinces of Guadalcanal and Malaita. The aim of the project is to assist the authorities of Solomon Islands in the implementation of the 2014 Family Protection Act. The Act provides for an integrated response by various government departments, for assistance to survivors of family and domestic violence, for improved access to justice and for redress for survivors of violence against women. The grantee has developed a national training curriculum and accreditation scheme to develop the capacity of selected informal justice mechanisms established in rural communities under the Family Protection Act to deliver quality services. Five capacity-building and monitoring missions at each of the 37 project sites have resulted in an increase in the number of cases reported and in discussions about domestic violence as a harmful practice. A total of 48 authorized justices have been trained. They continue to show a willingness to hold awareness-raising sessions and speak to their communities about their role and about the purpose of the Family Protection Act.Hide
In October 2018, the founder of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denis Mukwege, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his work with women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence. The hospital View More
In October 2018, the founder of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denis Mukwege, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his work with women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence. The hospital helped to pioneer the Panzi Foundation model of integrated rights-based psychosocial, legal and socioeconomic support provision in one-stop centres. The Panzi Foundation, which was awarded a grant from the UN Trust Fund to enhance its services for sexual violence survivors, worked in partnership with Physicians for Human Rights, another Trust Fund grantee, to train medical, legal and psychosocial professionals on the principles underlying its model and on the collection of forensic evidence to bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice and obtain justice for survivors. Beginning in 2011, the Trust Fund has invested in the Programme on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones launched by Physicians for Human Rights and is currently funding its second generation of results. Since that time, Physicians for Human Rights has trained 1,578 health-care, legal and law enforcement professionals, who have provided services to 42,162 survivors of sexual violence throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya.Hide
The importance of up-scaling efforts to prevent violence against women is increasingly being acknowledged both by the international community and by civil society organizations. The SASA! methodology is a ground-breaking community View More
The importance of up-scaling efforts to prevent violence against women is increasingly being acknowledged both by the international community and by civil society organizations. The SASA! methodology is a ground-breaking community mobilization approach developed by Raising Voices for the primary prevention of violence against women and HIV transmission. The methodology has been rigorously evaluated through a randomized controlled trial which demonstrated that SASA! is an effective approach, leading to a 52 per cent reduction in the risk of physical partner violence against women in communities where it was implemented. As a result, a wide range of actors, including NGOs, governments, UN agencies and faith-based groups are up-scaling implementation of this innovative and evidence-based approach. Currently, the SASA! methodology is being implemented in over 20 countries by more than 60 organizations. From 2010 to 2012, the UN Trust Fund supported Raising Voices’ first cohort of organizations across Eastern and Southern Africa to up-scale the SASA! methodology. Building on the learning from this previous grant as well as the increasing requests around the world to implement SASA!, this project works to meet the need for improved learning from, and guidance for, the wide range of organizations using and/or planning to use the SASA! methodology. Raising Voices collaborates with three partner organizations implementing SASA!—in rural Tanzania, in refugee camps in Kenya and in a community in Haiti—to improve guidance on how to adapt the methodology most effectively, maximizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of interventions. To date, two rounds of data collection have occurred in the research sites leading to key lessons about how to adapt the SASA! methodology in diverse settings. For example, in Kenya, SASA! is being adapted in the Dadaab Refugee Camp by the International Rescue Committee across their prevention work. Overall the methodology has been highly regarded by project staff and participants. The data collected to date shows that behaviours and attitudes are changing and community members are explicitly denouncing all forms of violence against women as unacceptable. Important lessons are also being learned though, on the importance of actively involving religious leaders and adapting the materials to suit the Somali culture prevalent in the camp. Tools will now be developed for use by other NGOs to help adapt the successful methodology to other contexts.Hide
In 2018, the UN Trust Fund published a technical annex to its Annual Report of 2017, providing an update on the results framework of its strategic plan, 2015–2020. As the first such report to be produced by the UN Trust Fund in its View More
In 2018, the UN Trust Fund published a technical annex to its Annual Report of 2017, providing an update on the results framework of its strategic plan, 2015–2020. As the first such report to be produced by the UN Trust Fund in its 20-year history, it involved the development of indicators, methods and systems to collect data, including input from, and in consultation with, more than 70 grantee organizations. As a result, the framework has been simplified to include three tiers of result types in order to better reflect which results can be attributed to the secretariat of the UN Trust Fund and which are achieved by the organizations themselves through the Trust Fund grant. A mid-term review of the current Trust Fund’s strategic plan was initiated in 2018, and the report is scheduled to be issued in early 2019.Hide
During 2019, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women commissioned an independent meta-evaluation and a meta-analysis to provide insights into what makes Trust Fund supported projects effective as well as into the strengths and weaknesses View More
During 2019, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women commissioned an independent meta-evaluation and a meta-analysis to provide insights into what makes Trust Fund supported projects effective as well as into the strengths and weaknesses in evaluation practices. This work also established a database that will enable the Trust Fund to analyse future evaluations of its funded projects and advance the standards and rigour of its overall evaluation practice. Overall, the evaluators found an upward trend in the quality of the evaluations. The meta-evaluation was concluded with a number of recommendations to improve the quality and usefulness of evaluations, which included reviewing the questions to assist evaluators in writing more nuanced findings, greater disaggregation of data and ensuring that recommendations create a pathway for identifying recommendations that are clear, realistic, actionable and timebound.Hide
In four regions of Argentina, a project led by the organization FUSA para la Salud Integral con Perspectiva de Género y Derechos Asociación Civil, funded by the UN Trust Fund, has formed an interdisciplinary workgroup to develop View More
In four regions of Argentina, a project led by the organization FUSA para la Salud Integral con Perspectiva de Género y Derechos Asociación Civil, funded by the UN Trust Fund, has formed an interdisciplinary workgroup to develop policy proposals and strategies to change local laws and policies on violence against women and girls with disabilities so that they adhere to international human rights standards. The organizers of the project are also engaging with and providing training for organizations that advocate for the rights of people with disabilities; thus far, 24 women and girls from such organizations have received training on the rights of women and girls with disabilities and acquired the tools necessary to share what they have learned with a wider audience. Preliminary agreements have been reached with health centres to expand the services they offer, and revised protocols are being reviewed by the ethics committees of those health centres.Hide
Women with mental disabilities held in Serbia’s institutions often suffer multiple forms of violence. A recent study by Mental Disability Rights Initiative-Serbia (MDRI-S) uncovered multiple forms of violence, including forced medical View More
Women with mental disabilities held in Serbia’s institutions often suffer multiple forms of violence. A recent study by Mental Disability Rights Initiative-Serbia (MDRI-S) uncovered multiple forms of violence, including forced medical treatment such as the administration of contraceptives without informed consent, and forced abortions and sterilization.
The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is supporting a project run by MDRI-S, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the rights of women with mental disabilities, with a small grant. MDRI-S is the first organization in Serbia bringing the lives and narratives of women with mental disabilities living in custodial institutions to the attention of the public. MDRI-S advocates for the deinstitutionalization of people with mental disabilities and for the model of living in residential assisted living centers, while at the same time it invests in improving conditions of women still living in custodial institutions by sensitizing service providers to women’s needs.
MDRI-S has brought together numerous policy makers from government, parliament and independent bodies such as the Ombudsman and Commissioner for Equality, to present the findings of their research and recommendations for change. MDRI-S has so far trained 60 service providers on how to address violence against women with mental disabilities in custodial institutions. By involving policy makers and service providers, MDRI-S is ensuring that those working directly with women with mental disabilities are sensitized to have the information needed to prevent abuse from occurring, and encourages policy makers to become advocates and actors for deinstitutionalization.Hide
In a final evaluation of UN Trust Fund grantee, Mental Disability Rights Initiative, Serbia, it was found that a project it had initiated had been successful in promoting institutional and policy changes for women with mental disabilities and that a total of 110 women had increased their awareness of protection mechanisms as a result of their involvement in project-related activities. Participants in the project had also contributed to the national strategy on improving the position of persons with disabilities by 2020 and the related action plan, which contain important references in line with relevant international human rights treaties. The new project, for which a grant was awarded in 2018, seeks to enhance and build on this work, focusing on the needs of women and girls in custodial institutions, such as residential and psychiatric institutions, community living or supported living arrangements. Through the dissemination of knowledge and confidence-building activities, the project is aimed at ensuring that women and girls with mental disabilities in Serbia receive greater support and feel empowered to live their lives free of custodial violence.Hide
The United Nations Trust Fund in support of actions to eliminate violence against women is a global, multilateral grant-making mechanism that supports efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. The Trust Fund, which was View More
The United Nations Trust Fund in support of actions to eliminate violence against women is a global, multilateral grant-making mechanism that supports efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. The Trust Fund, which was established in 1996 by the General Assembly in its resolution 50/166, is administered by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) on behalf of the United Nations system. With the strong institutional support of UN Women and its regional, multi-country and country offices, and working closely with the rest of the United Nations system through its inter-agency Programme Advisory Committee, the Trust Fund plays a vital role in driving forward collective efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.Hide