The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development places gender equality at its core to achieve the SDGs, with the elimination of violence against women and girls as a crucial component. In September 2017, the EU and the UN launched an ambitious joint partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide called the Spotlight Initiative (SI). The Spotlight Initiative aims at mobilizing the commitment of political leaders to end violence against women and girls and thereby contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Jamaica is one of the countries in the Caribbean to benefit from this transformative initiative.
The overall vision of the Spotlight Initiative in Jamaica is that women and girls realize their full potential in a violence-free, gender-responsive and inclusive way. The program will contribute to the elimination of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) through the creation of a broad partnership with Civil Society, Government, Private Sector, Media, among others; and, build a social movement of women, men, girls, boys and other vulnerable people as champions and agents of change at the national, subnational and community levels. A specific focus will be on reaching and including in the program women and girls who are often isolated and most vulnerable to sexual & gender-based violence (SGBV) and harmful practices (HP) due to intersecting forms of discrimination. The program will also seek to address the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) needs of all women and girls in all their diversity using a life-cycle approach. The SI involves six pillars premised on implementation SDG target 5.2 under the principle of “leaving no one behind” as follows:
1. Legislative and Policy Framework
2. Strengthening Institutions
3. Prevention and Social Norms
4. Delivery of Quality, Essential Services
5. Data Availability and Capacities
6. Supporting the Women’s Movement
The Spotlight Initiative’s Country Programme Document (CPD) aligns with the National Strategic Action Plan on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls (NSAP-GBV). Based on local GBV data, four parishes - (Clarendon, Westmoreland, St. Thomas and Kingston and St. Andrew) will be targeted under the Spotlight Initiative. This consultancy falls under Pillar 2 – Strengthening Institutions, which seeks to ensure that national and sub-national systems and institutions plan, fund, and deliver evidence-based programmes that prevent and respond to violence against women and girls within the family.
The Government of Jamaica recognises local government as an important agent in achieving the SDGs. The Local Sustainable Development Plan (LSDP) allows municipalities to lay out their local development priorities in alignment with Vision 2030 and the SDGs. In Jamaica, the law governing municipal corporations mandates the preparation, adoption, and implementation of LSDPs. Planning of the LSDPs requires an integrated view of development, in which connections between social, economic, and environmental systems are considered. Social and economic development must work in harmony with environmental systems, within which they may exist, and, upon which they depend.
To ensure the LSDPs are effective in supporting the achievement of the SDGs, this assignment is aimed at mainstreaming the objectives of national policies geared towards the elimination of VAWG, including the NSAP-GBV, into the LSDPs. Coordination of the prevention and response to VAWG, including family violence, at the parish level is critical given the widespread occurrence of VAWG across all parishes in the island. Therefore, local authorities will be critical in taking a leading role in determining how VAWG, including family violence will be addressed in their parishes and communities. This local integration of the prevention and response will strengthen the protection offered to women and girls across the island. The integrated, multi-stakeholder, multidimensional and multi-sectoral nature of the LSDP will serve as a cohesive model to integrate actions to eliminate family violence and associated interventions, which can be replicated to other parishes.