Ecuador (CEDAW 24-11-2021)
The Committee considered the tenth periodic report of Ecuador (CEDAW/C/ECU/10) at its 1828th and 1830th meetings (CEDAW/C/SR.1828 and CEDAW/C/SR.1830), held on 28 and 29 October 2021.
E. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
- The Committee notes with concern that the financial and economic crisis triggered by low oil prices, appreciation of the United States dollar, increasing external financing costs and growing trade conflicts has been exacerbated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The Committee also notes with concern that the COVID-19 health crisis has triggered a deep recession, leading to increased poverty, and has revealed structural weaknesses, such as a lack of macroeconomic buffers, a high level of informal employment, a poorly prepared health-care system and large gaps in access to public services. The Committee further notes with concern that the austerity measures adopted by the State party in an effort to consolidate public finances have had a disproportionate impact on women in all spheres of life. It is also concerned about the prevalence of gender-based violence against women, including domestic violence, and the feminization of poverty, which disproportionately affects women and girls belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups and those facing intersecting forms of discrimination. The Committee reminds the State party that, even in times of fiscal constraint and economic crisis, specific efforts must be made to advance women’s rights, sustain and expand social investment and social protection and integrate a gender perspective into policies and programmes, focusing on disadvantaged and marginalized groups of women and seeking to avoid retrogressive measures.
- In line with its guidance note on the obligations of States parties to the Convention in the context of COVID-19, issued on 22 April 2020, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(b) Ensure the internal redistribution of its resources to overcome the consequences of the financial crisis, according priority to measures that support social inclusion and gender equality, and implement measures to redress pre ‑ existing gender inequalities by placing women and girls at the centre of recovery strategies in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with particular attention to unemployed women and women living in poverty, women belonging to ethnic minorities, indigenous women, older women, women with disabilities, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women, and lesbian, bisexual, transgender women and intersex persons;
Temporary special measures
- The Committee welcomes the entry into force on 3 February 2020 of the Reform of the Organic Act on Elections and Political Organizations of the Republic of Ecuador (Democracy Code), which provides for temporary special measures. However, the Committee is concerned that, despite favourable legal conditions, there are still barriers related to the composition of lists, the definition of constituencies, the method of seat allocation and the absence of a parity rule in single-person candidacies. It also reiterates its concern about the absence of temporary special measures in the State party’s public policy aimed at reducing the multiple and intersectional discrimination faced by women belonging to disadvantaged groups, such as indigenous, Ecuadorian women of African descent and Montubio women, migrant women, women with disabilities and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, in areas such as political participation, education, employment and health.
- In line with its general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure full compliance with the temporary special measures provided for in the Democracy Code, including those relating to ethnic and cultural diversity, in the composition of lists, the definition of constituencies and the method of seat allocation, and introduce a parity rule in single-person candidacies;
(b) In consultation with women from the most disadvantaged groups, define and implement temporary special measures aimed at reducing discrimination against them in order to accelerate de facto equality between men and women.