As a part of a strategic social media campaign, actors from politics, sports, civil society and the private sector are working together to raise awareness in Ecuadorian society about the widespread gender-basd violence against women and girls in Ecuador. The goal is to create a culture of zero-tolerance: "Women free from violence: This is how Ecuador wins!".
Under the hashtag #MujeressinviolenciaEc, a variety of photos, videos and other information have been shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram since 2018, drawing attention to the high rates of violence against women in Ecuador. On behalf of the BMZ, the campaign "Women Free from Violence: This is how Ecuador Wins!" was launched as part of the GIZ project "PreViMujer", which works to prevent gender-based violence agisnt women in Ecuador. The campaign was co-financed by the GIZ sector programme "Promoting Gender Equality" from November 2018 to January 2020.
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 a 2019 survey by the National Statistics and Census Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadístíca y Censos), seven out of every ten women in Ecuador have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) at least once in their lives, mostly perpetrated by their partners or ex-partners. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation of women has worsened. Often, they were trapped at home with their aggressors, during the month-long confinement measures. In this context, social media has become an even more important tool to reach women and provide information and assistance.
In order to reach as many and as diverse people as possible, the campaign has joined forces with a total of 24 actors from various fields – including parliamentary groups, several national football clubs, radio stations such as Área Deportiva, women's rights organisations and persons in public life. The messages are also intended to address (young) men in particular, who play an important role in deconstructing gender norms and stereotypes that promote violence.
The campaign even goes far beyond the online channels: Together with the campaign partners, the PreViMujer project conducted awareness-raising workshops to increase awareness of the problem in all parts of society and to bring about sustainable change. In addition, several companies supported the campaign by developing materials linking their products to zero-tolerance of violence against women, by investing in training ad audio-visual material.
"Women free from violence: This is how Ecuador wins!" has proven that long-term campaigns can have a big impact. In total, the social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the website of the campaign have around 43.000 followers. Through the sensibilization workshops, webinars, infographics, audio-visual material and awareness-raising posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram, 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, in particular at a young age, is the most promising way to stop it from happening.
Preventing and combating all forms of gender-based violence in the public and private spheres is a central concern of German development cooperation. The projects to combat violence against women and girls are important measures to promote gender equality and thus also to achieve the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) - one of the 17 global goals for sustainable development of the 2030 Agenda.