Advocating for services and legislation to protect survivors of violence in Ecuador

Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"We have to eradicate all forms of gender-based violence. So that our girls do not have to go through what we have gone through," said Carmen Jeréz a councilor in the city of Pelileo in Tungurahua Province, Ecuador. Carmen supports women to report violence and seek services in her community in Tungurahua, which has one of the highest rates of violence in the country.[1]

This is one of 10 districts in Ecuador where ACDemocracia, a grantee of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, is working to address gaps in service delivery and to guarantee women’s access to justice within the project titled,“Integral intervention to guarantee access to justice for women survivors of violence.”

Martha Chango (right) in Tungurahua province where she works as the Municipal Councilor of Pelileo and the Chair of the Gender Commission. Photo:Michelle Gachet / UN Women
Martha Chango (right) in Tungurahua province where she works as the Municipal Councilor of Pelileo and the Chair of the Gender Commission. Photo:Michelle Gachet / UN Women

At the beginning of the project, mayors from Tungurahua province learned how widespread violence is in their communities. Cecilia Chacón, the first female deputy prefect in Tungurahua, recalls the surprise and shock from the mayors upon hearing that there were 5,986 recorded cases of violence reported to the authorities between January and September 2015. "That day we could feel the political will, we could feel the support; and now the mayors are the main promoters of this public policy", says Chacón.

ACDemocracia works to mobilize communities and train leaders. So far, within the framework of the UN Trust Fund- supported project, they have trained 313 women leaders of organizations in the National Coalition of women’s groups to increase their capacity to advocate for women’s rights and specifically for the adoption of comprehensive legislation for the prevention and eradication of violence against women in the country. They also trained 54 government officials, 49 reporters and 532 university students.

Read the full story on the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women website