UN World Food Programme

Capturing Realities of Indigenous Rural Women in Ecuador

Rural Ecuadorian women are saddled with domestic duties, in addition to the responsibilities of tending agriculture and living a rural lifestyle, which often entails withstanding domestic abuse and marginalization. Rural indigenous women in Ecuador experience a disproportionate amount of domestic violence.

In all of Ecuador, six out of ten women have reported domestic abuse at some point in their lives. However, the statistic rises to 68% among rural indigenous women.


Different paths: for generations, farmers have lived in the countryside. Today, with new opportunities for education, modernization, and markets, life is divided between the country and the city, people communicating in both Spanish and indigenous Kichwa.

Female participation in markets: the presence of women in markets continues to grow and become more influential.

Everything changes: climate change means reduced crops, fewer pastures and, in general, more effort required from farmers to ensure they can feed their families and animals.

Expanding horizons: despite levels of domestic violence and heavy workloads, rural women are gradually increasing their participation in farmer associations.

Armed with knowledge: women are trained to use their WFP eVouchers from food transfer programmes to diversify family diets.

Partnership and Market: For rural farmers, networking opens them to markets and they have more opportunities to sell directly to consumers, meaning fairer prices. 

Extra Income for the Family: This member of a smallholder famer association, and other women like her, are paid for their work in preparing food baskets which are delivered to WFP projects.

Attentive to training: "[Thanks to the trainings,] we know how to better feed the family, handle food, and confront gender violence."


Photos captured Ilaria Lazzarini, Field Monitor in Chimborazo. Text and captions are accredited to WFP Communication Volunteer, Nick Sexton.