PM launches Spotlight Initiative to empower women and girls

Prime Minister Andrew Holness demonstrates the gender equality symbol during the official launch and ceremonial signing for the Spotlight Initiative.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, on Monday (March 9), launched the Spotlight Initiative Country Programme for Jamaica, which focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

The Spotlight Initiative will be a three-year programme costing approximately US$10.6 million. It will contribute to transforming the society into one where women and girls can thrive, free of any kind of violence towards them. It is funded by the European Union (EU), with contributions from the United Nations (UN).

Speaking at the launch at the Office of the Prime Minister, Holness, said it will focus on addressing the issue of “normalisation of violence” in Jamaica and encourage society to see family violence as a public issue requiring consistent and concerted effort to address.

The Prime Minister explained that the initiative will focus its intervention within four parishes that have been determined to have high levels of violence towards women and girls, while work will continue on the legislation and policy aspects to impact the entire population.

The parishes are Kingston and St Andrew, St Thomas, Clarendon, and Westmoreland.