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Ecuador Says No to Violence and Yes to Transparency

Ecuador le dice no a la violencia y sí a la transparencia

Cristina Gordón|


Violence and corruption are two concepts that have been separated for a long time. According to the 2022 Corruption Perception Index, Ecuador ranked 101 out of 180 countries in terms of corruption. Dialogo Diverso (an organization that promotes the rights of LGBTQIA+ migrants and refugees) has worked on the prevention of corruption as a form of violence, including the co-creation of the “Less Violence, More Transparency” Citizen Observatory as part of the country’s first OGP action plan.

Acts of corruption, large and small, are about taking advantage of people who lack opportunities. This increases inequalities. “Taking away the country’s money illegitimately takes away education from children, medicines from sick people, and opportunities from the country to grow and improve,” comments Maria Gabriela Alvear, co-founder of Dialogo Diverso.

Let’s go for an Honest Ecuador!

Overcoming corruption is a daily task. It involves promoting honesty and integrity in homes, schools, colleges, and universities, and  demanding functional policies that verify the transparency of the work of the State and its institutions. The latter is an urgent need for Ecuador.

As an initiative of Dialogo Diverso, in 2019, work began on the creation of a citizen observatory dedicated to monitoring compliance with the rights of girls and women, sexual-gender diversities, and the prevention of corruption as a form of violence.

The German Cooperation in Ecuador (GIZ), through its Ecuador SinCero Program, supported Dialogo Diverso which, together with Fundación Esquel, presented a proposal for Ecuador’s first observatory in the country dedicated to monitoring these rights.

The observatory Less Violence, More Transparency is made up of a group of organizations that are involved in monitoring compliance with policies and instruments to prevent and eradicate violence in its different forms.

With data collected through the observatory, we published the research titled Corruption as a form of violence and the impact on girls, women, the LGBTQIA+ population and democracy. This study explores and critically analyzes the realities and damage that people of different genders suffer when experiencing this type of violence.

Corruption and gender-based violence are concepts that are sometimes difficult to combine. That is why one of the main points of this research is affirming that people’s gender is key in establishing different levels of credibility and trust towards Ecuador’s protection system (police, prosecutor’s office, etc.).

The figures revealed by surveys and interviews are alarming since patriarchal violence continues to be the protagonist when it comes to addressing cases of gender-based violence survivors. For example, it is recognized that cis and trans women receive the most requests for sexual favors to access public services, such as education, and health, or when requesting protection measures against a case of violence.

Likewise, it shows that one of the most common forms of corruption is bribery. According to data from the Americas Barometer (LAPOP, 2022):

13 percent of Ecuadorians have received requests for bribes from the National Police and, similarly, 10 percent of the people surveyed commented that in the same period (2021) bribes were requested to access any public service.

This has a direct impact on the attention and resolution of cases of gender-based violence. Women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ people continue to be the main victims since giving in to bribes and other forms of corruption is the only alternative available for their cases to get the attention they need. Corruption added to structural gender violence normalizes violations of rights, increases social inequalities, and entrenchs shortcomings of public systems.

A fight without borders

Every day we are more! At the beginning of 2023, a Less Violence, More Transparency delegation made up of civil society organizations and government institutions carried out an anti-corruption tour in Chile.

This international visit allowed us to share the experiences obtained from the Citizen Observatory and talk with entities such as the National Prosecutor’s Office and Comptroller’s Office of Chile, Espacio Público, and Chile Transparente to specify future efforts in the fight against corruption in the region.

Currently, Ecuador is implementing its second OGP action plan in which gender has been involved as a crosscutting approach to its commitments. This means new challenges for Less Violence, More Transparency to eradicate violence against women, girls, and LGBTIQA+ people.

The expectation is great and the needs of historically vulnerable populations are greater. Without a doubt, to understand the Observatory’s achievements it is necessary to do so from the commitments of the first and second OGP action plan in Ecuador.

The products and research that have been disseminated have allowed us to know in greater depth the reality of women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ people in Ecuador and that we are increasingly in the fight against violence and corruption. In addition, they promote an inclusive democracy by promoting citizen participation, protecting rights, and involving civil society in decision-making processes.

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