Ecuador is a contry where patriarcal society still subsist. Most of the time women are heard but the person who ultimately decides is the man. Under these parameters and supported by a Catholic church, which prohibits abortion, women again are being denied a benefit that concerns only Ecuadorian women: The right to bring a new life into the world at any time they want.
This past week, the National Assembly started the second and final stage of debates into updates to the Ecuadorian Penal Code. One of the most significant changes was the project of access to safe or legal abortion services, which under presure of president Correa was finally denied.
Ecuador’s current Penal Code only allows abortion for victims of rape who are mentally disabled, leaving out millions of women in a country where one in four women has been the victim of sexual violence. Ecuadorian law imposes penalties including prison terms ranging from one to five years for women and girls who obtain abortions.
Virginia Gomez de la Torre, a leader of Front for the Defense of Reproductive Rights has said: "In the country there are 0.8% of cases that fall into the rape of a mentally disabled woman. New legal code will not support the other 99.2% of Ecuadorians raped women.
Since it is unlawful to get abortion services in Ecuador, many women still have to go through unsafe abortion practiced at cladestine locations. This is noticed by visible education leader Rosa Maria Torres, on Twitter: "Abortion is the 2nd cause of maternal death. 1 in 4 women experience sexual violence. 30% of these rapes end in pregnancy. #COIP"
Despite significant advocacy by women all over Ecuador, and a wealth of evidence illustrating the benefits of decriminalization, the government of Ecuador has not responded with a commonsense policy, argues Heather Sayette, of the HR Reality Check.
Amanda Klasing, an America's women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch has it all clear as to where the goverment has fault its own females. "Women who are victims of rape should not then be made victims of the government when they choose to terminate pregnancies", they are the queens of their own bodies.
But what it perfectly sums up this topic is what the none catholic women feel about the unchanged legislation on abortion in Ecuador is a piece written by Diana Maldonado Lasso on Facebook. She complains of the weak position adopted by some women lawmakers:
- "Absolute Shame! Women who tried to "fight" to decriminalize abortion, to have sovereignty over our bodies and that nothing or nobody impose us an unwanted pregnancy ... back away when "the king of green sun" gives them two curses.
What kinds of women fighting for the rights of other women are blindly obedient to the patriarch? How life of thousands of Ecuadorian women are put in hands of fearful women? Is this how they want to make a revolution? Rather it is fear of the revolution they would likely live if daddy throws them out for misbehaving. We lready see what matters for this sexist and chauvinistic we have for "top dog", by way of example... to present Viviana Bonilla as a candidate for Guayaquil's Major, which was highlighted? The beauty and youth ... that is, intelligence and ability do not count. A National Assembly where nearly half of the assembly members are women, haven't been unable to assert human rights regarding women due to fear. We are critical of machismo and patriarchy and had not realized that these were embedded into those who should fight against them."
Ecuador still has a long way before its citizens really experience gender equity.
Other two articles about Blog Action Day can be read here and here.
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