Public Information Officer
Gabriela Malo, Ecuador, works for WFP since 2011 for the country office in Ecuador. Her experience includes several years as a communicator for UNICEF and freelance editor.
Following UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's initiative “Unite to end violence against women”, UN Women, UNICEF and WFP have begun a campaign in Ecuador to raise public awareness that gender violence is neither natural nor acceptable, although in Ecuador it is still commonplace.
Media interventions and events have been organized in five cities. They will describe the types of violence women in Ecuador suffer and how to recognize the first symptoms in order to take immediate action against violence. The public is invited to participate in these events: Ibarra, Lago Agrio, Loja, Esmeraldas (Dec. 10) and Quito (Dec. 12).
An interactive exhibit visiting the five cities offers a close-up view of the role that violence plays in the daily life of an Ecuadorian woman. Special cabins allow for private, instant consultations on questions related to the subject, including what to do, where to file a complaint, and who to contact in case of encountering violent behavior. Memory games help the public learn about the relationships between certain behaviours and the four types of violence women suffer in Ecuador: psychological, physical, sexual and patrimonial.
Six out of every ten Ecuadorian women have suffered some kind of gender violence. Women are also disadvantaged at meal times. Local customs demand that women offer men the best morsels of food and women usually eat last, once the rest of the family has been served. In addition, even when living in couple, most Ecuadorian mothers are unilaterally charged with childrearing and feeding. A mother who suffers from gender violence can hardly ensure children’s nutritional needs.
In rural areas, women do an equal share of farm labor, while carrying out all their domestic chores, including childrearing and feeding the family. WFP works to empower women so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
More than 70 percent of asylum seekers arriving in Ecuador are women and children. WFP programmes focus on women: assistance to Colombian refugees and vulnerable families from the host communities; efforts to build resilience in communities menaced by the effects of climate change, and work towards food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable.
Through UNITE, the UN is joining forces with individuals, civil society and governments to put an end to violence against women in all its forms. UN Women, UNICEF and WFP work together in Ecuador to reach the largest number of people with the message that gender violence is not natural.
If you want more information about the Secretary General’s campaign please visit: http://endviolence.un.org/