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Ending Gender-Based Violence in Kyrgyzstan

Pierobon, Chiara. "Ending Gender-Based Violence in Kyrgyzstan: Reflections on the Spotlight Initiative" [with Aliia Maralbaeva] In: Mihr, A., Sorbello, P. and Weiffen, B. (eds.) Securitisation and Democracy in Eurasia. Springer: Cham, 2023, pp. 201-215,

The Spotlight Initiative (SI) is a new global, multi-year initiative launched by the European Union (EU) in cooperation with the United Nations (UN), with the aim of eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) worldwide. Since 2019, Spotlight has been implemented in Kyrgyzstan, where more than 6.5 million US dollars have been allocated to recipient UN Organizations such as UN Women, UNDP, UNPFA, UNICEF and UNODC for the conduct of activities across the initiative’s six outcome areas. This chapter familiarizes the reader with the phenomenon of domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan and with the major legal and institutional barriers hindering access to justice on behalf of female victims of domestic violence. It then examines how the SI has sought to improve access to justice on behalf of female victims of domestic violence by stimulating ownership of an array of state and non-state actors engaged in addressing domestic violence from a legal perspective. The research uses a mixed-method approach, combining a legal analysis of national legislation, an analysis of 280 court judgements  on domestic violence and expert interviews with implementers of the Initiative, as well as policy and legal experts, lawyers and civil society activists engaged in the field of VAWG. The study provides recommendations on how to improve the national legislation concerning domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan as well as the implementation of the Spotlight Initiative in the country and beyond.

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