Women free from violence: This is how Ecuador wins!

Since 2018, actors from different sectors, including the business sector, the public sector, academia and the media, have been working together to address the widespread problem of violence against women and girls in Ecuador, as part of a strategic campaign that combines physical and digital actions. To date, after more than five years, the goal remains the same: to create a culture of zero tolerance for gender-based violence against women and girls: “Women free from violence: This is how Ecuador wins!”.


In large parts of the Ecuadorian population, violence against girls and women is tolerated and perceived as normal. In fact, many times the survivors of intimate (ex)partner violence are blamed as if it was their fault, not the aggressors. According to the 2019 survey by the National Statistics and Census Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadístíca y Censos), around seven out of ten women in Ecuador have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) at least once in their lives, mostly perpetrated by their partners or ex-partners.


The objective of the year-long sustained campaign is to raise awareness in Ecuadorian society about the widespread problem of violence against women and girls and motivate actors to take action against it. In the long term, the aim is to deconstruct socio-cultural patterns that legitimize and justify violence against women and girls and create a culture of zero-tolerance of violence against women.


On behalf of the BMZ, the campaign “Women Free from Violence: This is how Ecuador Wins!” was launched as part of the GIZ project “Prevention of Violence against Women” (PreViMujer), which works to prevent violence against women (VAW) in Ecuador. The campaign was co-financed by the GIZ sector programme “Promoting Gender Equality” from November 2018 to January 2020 and now funded by the counterparts’ own recourses, accompanied with technical assistance from PreViMujer. For instance, the project conducted workshops with the campaign partners to raise awareness about the problem and to bring about sustainable change.

In order to reach as many and as diverse people as possible, the campaign has joined forces with more then 30 actors from different sectors – being in the past year a key for the support of the campaign the business sector, universities and media. Several companies and associations of the private sector supported the campaign by developing materials linking their products to zero-tolerance of violence against women, by investing in training and audio-visual material.

Furthermore, the camping encourages actors to engage with this cause on social media by sharing a variety of photos, videos, webinars and other information material under the hashtag #MujeressinviolenciaEc, drawing attention to the high rate of violence against women, how to confront it and where to get legal and psychological assistance.


“Women free from violence: This is how Ecuador wins!” has proven that long-term campaigns can have a big impact. The campaign has become a successful and long-lasting measure because it takes a strategic approach of working with different actors in society who, by recognizing the importance of the topic, start to invest, develop and share materials by themselves.

In the business sector, large Ecuadorian companies have been working for a number of years to make this issue more visible in the different regions of the country. One example is the timber company Endesa Botrosa, which has been incorporating VAW prevention messages into its internal strategies since 2010, when the regional programme ComVoMujer began working on deconstructing masculinities. Today, the company, which is mainly made up of men, includes the prevention of VAW as part of its corporate culture. That way, Endesa Botrosa reaches around 20,000 people, as it is located in three regions of Ecuador: Esmeraldas, Imbabura and Pichincha, with Esmeraldas showing high levels of poverty and illiteracy.

Also the CID Corporate Group, an association of eight companies including e. g. a bakery and two pharmacies, has committed itself to make this struggle visible and invests in audio-visual material, capacitation and campaigns, for over five years now.. Avon, a company that sells beauty products, uses the attention that feminine products receive to raise awareness of the issue and invest parts of their profits in their own foundation, to prevent VAW.

Another success story is the Ecuadorian telecommunications company CNT. All workers of this company have twice participated in the online course “Safe company, leader in zero tolerance towards violence against women”, leaving more than 10.000 employees sensitized.. However, the biggest impact that company made is without a doubt the App “Junt@s”.  With the technical support of PreViMujer, CNT launched in 2023 the updated version of the App which provides information on prevention on VAW to the public and offers support to thos affected.

The impact has not been limited to the business sector: The EPN (Escuela Politecnica Nacional), has been the first university to adopt the campaign this year, making its name to their own “Women Free from Violence”: This is how the Poli Wins!”. The university has committed to making the issue visible through a huge graffiti on campus and around 600 stickers with massages and facts to reflect on.

2023 has been a year of success for our work with media: During the last year, Ecuadorian media also acknowledged the importance of tackling this problem. For example, the television channel Teleamazonas, through its show Te Veo Ecuador, included the campaign and its website as part of its commitment to provide information to its audience on this issue. CORAPE, a network of community media in Ecuador, carried out a #25N campaign with 5 radio stations in rural areas of the country. 500,000 listeners were reached.

Tinta Digital, a digital media focused on new generations, joined the campaign to democratise information related to the prevention of VAW in order to reach a young audience with innovative and impactful content. More than 170.000  followers were reached, 85% being between 16 and 29 years of age, and 55% being are women.

In total, over the years it can be estimated that over 1 million people on national level have been reached through a multitude of different ways: by videos, trainings, events, graffiti, infographics, radio, exhibitions, influencers, podcasts, social networks – and it is still going on. The campaign has helped to encourage a social rethinking on stereotypes and ideas that promote inequality and gender-based violence in Ecuador. Prevention of violence against women and deconstruction of patterns that normalize it, is the most promising way to stop it from happening.





Contact Details

Name: Carolina Loayza
Email: maria.loayzaalarcon@giz.de
Posted in Gender Week Blog