Spotlight Digital Challenge “IT against Violence” for university students and young graduates

Between 1-3 April 2022, the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Regional Programme for Central Asia and Afghanistan is organizing an online Spotlight Digital Challenge “IT against Violence” for university students and young graduates.

The Spotlight Digital Challenge aims to educate young people on the critical importance of gender equality for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, on the personal, societal and economic costs of violence against women and existing gaps in the data on gender-based violence. The participants will learn from real cases that digital technology may help to reveal, prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV), and increase own awareness of new threats and forms of violence brought by ICT.

Online “IT vs Violence” Digital Challenge will offer students and recent graduates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan  and Turkmenistan an action-packed program, which includes Educational Bootcamp, interaction with experts who work on elimination of gender-based violence,. The activity will culminate in the online “IT vs Violence” Challenge. The event will create an environment for problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaborative skills among young people from five Central Asian countries in their attempts to create concepts of technology-based solutions or mobile applications in support of ending violence against women efforts in their home countries and in the region of Central Asia. Special emphasis of the Spotlight Digital Challenge is to create an environment for teamwork where the voices and experiences of all team members are heard. The winners of the challenge will share the total prize fund of $20,000.

The Digital Challenge will be preceded by an Educational Bootcamp, which will take place online between 26-27 March 2022, where participants will learn about gaps, divides, and inequalities sustained through social norms and practices, formal and informal laws which often restrict choices and influence gender roles from leading experts from the region in a series of webinars. The events will be conducted online in Russian.

The website of the challenge:

Background information:

Violence against women (VAW) and girls is one of the most systematic and widespread human rights violations. The impact of violence for women and girls ranges from immediate to long term physical, sexual and mental health consequences. It has immense personal, societal and economic costs all around the globe: from greater health care and legal expenses to productivity losses. Gender equality and empowerment of women is central for the achievement of full human potential and sustainable development with the elimination of violence against women being a crucial component.

Spotlight Initiative (SI) is the world’s largest dedicated effort to end all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030. It is implemented as a global multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations. Today Spotlight Initiative is 25 country and regional programmes across the globe. Each programme is built around 6 pillars which define a unified holistic framework to eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (EVAWG). This approach includes addressing legislative and policy gaps, strengthening institutions, promoting gender-equitable attitudes, providing quality services for survivors, producing disaggregated data and empowering women’s movements.