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International Partnerships

ACT to End Violence Against Women

Strengthening global and regional advocacy, coalition building and transformative feminist action to end violence against women

Key info


ACT to End Violence against Women (Advocacy, Coalition Building and Transformative Feminist Action to End Violence Against Women) is a programme to accelerate efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women.

It’s two overarching objectives are to strengthen

  • the resilience and leadership of global and regional women’s rights movements and their coalition building and networking
  • advocacy, campaigning and policymaking through multi-stakeholder partnerships and coalitions

ACT has been developed by the European Union and UN Women as co-leaders of the Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Violence against women and girls is one of the most systematic and widespread human rights violations around the world. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women globally have been subjected to physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.

Global emergencies, crises and conflict have intensified drivers and risk factors. Digitalisation has exacerbated existing, and given rise to new forms of violence. The rise in anti-rights movements, shrinking space for civil society and backlash against women’s rights are undermining efforts on gender equality and leading to a rise in attacks against women’s rights activists.

The EU is strongly committed to gender equality, the empowerment of women of all ages and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls around the world. The European Consensus on Development identifies gender equality and women's empowerment as a critical cross-cutting issue in EU development cooperation. With ACT, the EU delivers on its political commitment in the Gender Action Plan to increase dialogue with, and financial support to women’s organisations.


The ACT programme will achieve its results through direct investments in feminist women’s rights organisations to

  • strengthen their institutional capacities
  • facilitate networking and the establishment of intersectional and intersectoral alliances
  • enhance their access to global and regional advocacy spaces

It will also coordinate and amplify a shared advocacy agenda designed in collaboration with women’s rights organisations, bringing on board multistakeholder partners and new actors to accelerate efforts to end violence against women and girls.

ACT will build on the results and lessons learned from the EU–UN Spotlight Initiative’s work in 26 countries to empower women’s organisations at regional and global levels. This will inform evidence-based advocacy under the programme.