CARE BLOG

CARE Ecuador's Work to Address Violence Against Women

12/20/13

Violence against women is a common global problem, and is a flagrant violation of human rights. We need to unit to exercise pressure in the fight against violence in our country, and throughout the world. 


In Ecuador, 6 out of every 10 women have experienced some type of gender violence, which most strongly affects indigenous and Afro-descendant women, and is aggravated by discrimination based on ethnic, cultural, economic, social or age status.


The incidence of sexual violence in Ecuador is high: 1 of every 10 women has suffered sexual abuse before the age of 18; the most common age range of victims is between 12 and 16. Additionally, 26.4% of women who have experienced sexual abuse were abused by someone they knew. Only 15% of the acts of sexual abuse were reported, and of these, only 35% were ultimately prosecuted. 

Voices from CARE's Women, Rights and Governance project



“Indigenous and black women suffer violence all the time, the difference is that the indigenous women take the hits and the insults, while we black women defend ourselves, and fight back ...”


-- Afro-decendant woman, Nueva Loja, 2013 
 
“I decided to come from Colombia after a violent relationship that lasted 12 years, the only way to free myself was to come here.  Here my kids and I have been valued. I managed to bring them with my work. The separation and arrival in Ecuador have helped me to be more secure and to be able to talk about this issue ...”


-- Colombian woman living in Ecuador, 2013

Our project on violence and the restoration of rights 


CARE's Women, Rights and Governance Project, carried out at the northern border of Ecuador and funded by the European Union, promotes the exercise and restoration of the human rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant Ecuadorian women, along with women refugees from the Colombian conflict, who have been victims of violence and discrimination. 


The main focus of this initiative has to do with the right of women to live a life of dignity, and to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.


The project seeks to empower women, and to strengthen the linkages between civil society and decision makers, in order to guarantee and promote the human rights of women victims of violence and discrimination. Thus, one of the main initiatives of the project is to promote the access to justice services, to enforce the rights of these victims. 

CARE helps develop a judicial monitoring system for cases of gender violence 


The National Council of Citizen Participation and Social Oversight, the State Prosecutor’s Office, women’s organizations, local authorities, strategic allies and CARE designed a monitoring system to follow cases of gender violence through the judicial branch. The system was implemented as a pilot in the provinces of Sucumbíos and Imbabura.


Statistics from the State Prosecutor’s office reveal that 62% of the crimes committed in the country are sex crimes (rapes), and in this sense the monitoring system is highly valued as a pioneer experience in the country. The system serves as a replicable model for other provinces with a high incidence of gender violence.


The Prosecutor’s Office recognizes the strength of a model of work involving different governmental institutions, women’s groups and civil society organizations. So far, the Council on Citizen Participation and Social Oversight and the Prosecutor’s office have started to replicate the experience in the provinces of Esmeraldas, Carchi, Santo Domingo and Morona Santiago. 

Equality Inside Toolbox


CARE in Latin America is pleased to present the Equality Inside Toolbox (in Spanish), which contains a policy and strategic framework based on CARE’s intervention in Latin America, from a gender equality approach. The toolbox also contains set of methodologies and instruments that can be used to address, from a gender equality perspective, issues like climate change, risk management, economic development, water management and others. 



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