Electoral Reforms in Ecuador

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Historically, women have encountered multiple barriers and impediments to entering the political sphere. Furthermore, when notable female representatives have managed build up their own important spaces in politics, they frequently have had to confront the phenomenon of gender-based political violence.

Violent practices are particularly apparent in the internal processes of political parties for the selection of candidates for positions of popular representation, as well as in the processes for participation in electoral contests. In this sense, for years the political rights of women to be elected have been affected, and also, on multiple occasions thousands of women have been victims of political gender violence during electoral campaigns.

On February 3, 2020, in Ecuador the Reforms to the Democracy Code were approved. In other words, for next month’s elections some electoral reforms that, for example, seek the equal participation of women in politics already apply.

The approval of the reforms was historic since this will be the first time in the country where the sanction for gender-based political violence is applied. Likewise, the reforms determine the obligation for political organizations to register on their lists for multi-person and single-person elections under criteria of generational parity and inclusion, which constitutes a transcendent moment in the electoral process. In this sense, the presidential pairs must be made up of a man and a woman. In addition, at least half of the lists that the parties present for provincial legislators must be headed by women. Getting to 50%, however, will not be automatic. For the 2021 elections, women will have to head only 15% of the lists; later, in the sectional elections of 2023, the percentage should reach 30%.

Beyond how important it is to punish political violence against women, what is fundamental is to prevent it from happening.

Ph.D.(c) Desirée Viteri

Desirée Viteri Almeida is our Director of Research and Projects.She studied Diplomacy and International Relations and obtained the degree of Internationalist, she was the second-best graduate of her class. Later, she studied Political Science and Government and obtained the title of Political Scientist. She was the best graduate. Later, she became a Lawyer. She also completed a Master in Political Analysis and Institutional Counseling at the University of Barcelona.
Currently, she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Law and Political Science, specifically in the area of Criminal Law and Criminal Sciences. Her work has focused on issues related to human rights (right to gender equality, education, peace, justice, migration, health, among others). Her passion is to defend gender equality, therefore, for more than 6 years she has constantly conducted different research activities about violence against women, female empowerment, women and girls rights , gender-based violence, female leadership among others.

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