Contribution to UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women 2021-2025.
The purpose of this proposal is to renew Switzerland’s support to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women (UNTF). The UNTF is the only UN system-wide fund and global multilateral grant-making mechanism devoted to local and national efforts to end violence against women and girls (EVAW/G), including in fragile and conflict affected contexts. Promoting gender equality through combatting all forms of gender based violence is a key strategic objective of Switzerland’s International Cooperation Strategy. The UNTF has the added value of combining systemic engagement (e.g. through global advocacy and legal reform) and outreach to the most at-risk women and girls.
Legal and judicial development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
- United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
- The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, of which UN Women is the secretar-iat
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a universal phenomenon irrespective of income, class, education, culture and age. The root causes of all forms of violence against women and girls remain the unequal power relations between men and women and gender inequality in all facets of life. It is a major cause of exclusion and poverty, and a serious barrier to sustainable development and social cohesion. The UNTF was established in 1996 by UN General Assembly resolution 50/166, as a direct response to the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women and resulting Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It reports annually to the to the Commission on Status of Women (CSW) and the Human Rights Council. The fund is administred by UN Women on behalf of the UN system, and governed by a Programme Advisory Committee (PAC). While Switzerland is not an official member of the UNTF’s PAC, its will continue leveraging its close relationship with the Fund to influence and shape its evolving strategic direction. Global normative frameworks on VAW/G are provided through Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the agreed conclusions of the fifty-seventh session of the CSW. Since then, the UNTF has awarded USD 198 million to 609 initiatives in 140 countries and territories aimed at preventing and addressing all forms of violence against women and girls across the globe. The COVID 19 pandemic not only exercatbed violations, but also also exposed the lack of preparnendess of socities to respond to and to deal with the existing and persistent VAWG challenge
 In 2020, members of the Programme Advisory Committee at the global level included: the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict; the United Nations Development Programme; the United Nations Population Fund; the United Nations Children’s Fund; and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). It also included other experts at the global level, including representatives from the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership, Equality Now, and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative.
|Objectives||The UNTF’s overall goal is to prevent and end all forms of violence violence against women and girls. Operating on the basis of a human rights apporach, the UNTF advocates for and finances innovative approaches for preventing and ending violence against women and girls, shares learning from global evidence collected from the projects it funds and leverages its mandate and convening power to foster increased funding for EVAW/G. The UNTF is the only global grant giving pooled funding mechanism exclusively dedicated to ending all forms of violence against women and girls. Its vision is a world without violence against women and girls that is aligned with international human rights standards, the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and international human rights law of which gender equality and the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination is a an integral part.|
· Women and girls, especially the most marginalized and those experiencing intersecting forms of discrimination.
· Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), especially Women’s Rights Organizations (WROs) and those that represent the most marginalized groups, in delivering survivor-centered and demand-driven initiatives and programmes with high impact on ending violence against women and girls (EVAW/G).
In accordance with the UN Trust Fund’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025, and Theory of Action, the project will focus on the following key outcome areas at the development impact level:
1) (Multi-sectoral) Services: Improved access for women and girls to essential, specialist, safe and adquate multi-sectoral services.
2) Prevention: Improved prevention of VAW/G through changes in behaviours, practices and attitudes.
3) Legislation: Increase effectiveness of legislation, policies, national action plans and accountability systems.
· Inclusive knowledge exchange facilitated by the Trust Fund for learning from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)/ Women’s Rights Organizations (WROs) programmes and operations, with a focus on practioner based knowledge.
· Resource mobilization and advocacy for global solidarity and mutually enabling partnerships to amply the voice of CSOs/WROs and their expertise in EVAW/G programming.
Strategic selection of grants and their effective and efficient management according to rigorous policies and procedures for grant-giving, including operational and capacity development support based on the needs and demands of the grantees.
Results from previous phases:
Over the last Strategic Plan (SP) cycle (2016-2020), the UNTF funded innovative and impact-orientated programmes, generated knowledge and supported evidence-based programming, as well as mobilized financial support for efforts to prevent and end VAW/G. During that phase, the UNTF achieved notable results in its three priority areas, i.e. prevention, protection, provision. At the indivusual level, a total of 54’608’123 people were reached by the UNTF in this period. Focusing on the needs of marginalized women and girls at risk of being left behind, UNTF grantees reached at least 111,069 refugee and internally displaced women and girls; 67,439 women and girls living with disabilities; and 47,823 indigenous women over the period 2016-2020. The UNTF has consistently increased its grant-giving envelope over the years: While during 2016-2020, it awarded 146 grants totaling USD 67.2 million, in 2020 alone, the UNTF grants totaled USD 72.8 million, encompassing 150 projects aimed at preventing and addressing violence against women and girls in 71 countries and territories, across five regions. By providing grants primarily to CSOs and WROs, the Fund has made a critical contribution to and recognition of the important role played by CSOs/WROs as front-line responders, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through its work, the Fund also contributed to increased effectiveness of legislation, policies, national action plans and accountability systems. In 2020, with the support of 21 UNTF grantees, 36 local, sub-national or national government institutional policies and/or protocols on violence against women and girls were developed or improved to align with international standards. During the same year, 27,075 cases of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls were reported or referred to local state service providers, through support provided by 72 UN Trust Fund grantees.
At the UN system-wide level, and as a UN inter-agency mechanism, the UNTF has played a key convening role, contributed to raising awareness and promoting global advocacy to end VAW/G.
These results and lessons learnt, including from a mid-term review conduced in 2018, informed the new Strategic Plan 2021-2025.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
United Nations Organization (UNO)
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
· The UNTF is hosted by UN Women and governed by a Global Programme Advisory Committee (PAC), including more than 20 UN organs and bodies. This ensures a UN system-wide approach and coordination, as well as a close linkage to and alignment with UN Women’s overall work on EVAW/G.
· Strategic and programmatic linkages also exist and need to be fostered with SDG 16 and particularly the SDC supported pathfinder initiative, especially the pathfinder grand challenge on ending violence.
- Lessons learnt from the UNTF work will be fed back into SDC’s own programming on ending sexual and gender-based violence.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 2’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 500’000|
|Project phases||Phase 4 01.12.2021 - 31.07.2026 (Current phase) Phase 3 01.12.2016 - 30.12.2019 (Completed) Phase 2 15.12.2013 - 30.11.2016 (Completed) Phase 1 01.12.2011 - 30.11.2013 (Completed)|