Regarding the Misogynist and Anti-Rights Speech of Lenin Moreno, President of Ecuador

by The Plurinational and Popular Parliament of Women and Feminist Organizations of Ecuador

first published 12 February 2020

President Moreno's latest declarations about men being afraid of accusations of harassment (see is further evidence of the character of this Government, which instead of generating effective policies and actions to guarantee the application of constitutional principles based on respect for human rights and in particular for women´s, children´s and adolescent`s rights to a life free from violence, is promoting the strengthening of a State that is extractive, sexist, xenophobic and racist. Machismo has been a State policy for a long time, and this political line is the direct responsibility of the President. On several occasions, his statements have made us feel, at the international level, like a country without a political culture of human rights.

In 2019, the irresponsible declarations of the president and his cabinet, as well as the negligence of the police force and María Paula Romo, the Interior Minister in the case of the femicide of Diana Carolina in Imbabura, triggered a hunt for Venezuelan refugees. Dozens of men, women and children were chased with torches by people in the northern province as a result of the xenophobia promoted by the government in the declarations.

The government of Alianza País movement, now headed by Moreno, systematically places the responsibility for male violence on the shoulders of the most vulnerable. The role of the police in the violation of rights is not recognized, intead they get congratulated and decorated by the government for their work which has proven to be excessively and illegally violent. The budget for gender violence prevention programs is reduced, but exorbitant amounts are invested in a circus shows or for new equipment for the police force. The is no investment in policies to reduce the alarming figures of teenage pregnancy that place Ecuador, where abortion is illegal and punished with jail even in case of child pregnancy due to rape, among the worst places in the ranking of the region .

However, large expenditures are approved to arm the police in order to repress the people; the reforms to the COIP (penal organic law) were not approved to increase the causes that sought to protect women who became pregnant as a result of rape, and therefore, the criminalization of poor women who abort when they have been raped is maintained; investment in health and education is cut; there is persecution and criminalization of social leaders for protesting for their rights; while expenditures on propaganda for the regime are increased. Militarization of life, of the territories that are continuously being stripped by devastating extractivism, the securitization and surrender policy, the control over the bodies of women and dissidents, as well as the macho violence is the daily bread of this regime that is herited from Correa’s regime.

The government's strategy is the criminalization of social struggle and the creation of "public enemies" among the people's fighters, with the aim of preventing and dismantling social organization against neoliberal policies and favoring the economic and political interests of its allies; the businessmen, the bankers, the IMF and the religious fundamentalist groups. All this to reaffirm and renew the strategies of the imperialist, neoliberal, patriarchal and misogynist capitalism entrenched in our country; for that reason the continuous declarations of President Moreno are not innocent outbursts, chispoteos to the best style of comic characters, is a policy of State in this new period of Alianza País.

Machismo is historical and structural, not episodic. It has no nationality or borders, it permeates all spaces without distinction of class, ethnicity, religion, profession and today it is present in full body in the chair of the Presidency as you demonstrate. The lessons that you leave to us women, this nefarious period of the government of Moreno and his conservative allies, is to continue promoting feminism, human rights and the ideal of social justice, to implement it and live it in the daily forms of doing politics, not as labels for elections, nor as a blank check for any candidate.

Machistas are also beings who exercise power, control and violence. Wanting to unload the responsibility of harassment on Ecuadorian women, blaming them for the violence they receive, manipulating reality, minimizing the practices of violence, making a circus out of femicide, is a cowardly strategy that seeks to make up for the absence of policies that eradicate violence and justify the huge disinvestment of the so-called "Lifetime Plan" in their government. We organized women do not forget that the party that governs us today is the same one that for a decade radiated a macho and violent message whose effects we are all paying for:

- Every 71 hours a woman is violently murdered by males with a state complicit in femicide.
- Seven out of ten women have experienced some kind of violence.
- 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence.
- Every day 28 children and adolescents are victims of some kind of violence.
- In Universities: 5 out of 10 women have been harassed

Today, more than ever, it is urgent to restore the budget for the National Plan for the Eradication of Violence against Women (more than 10 million dollars) and to begin with urgent training and sensitization of the Presidency of the Republic and all the Ministries and Secretariats, especially the Secretariat of Human Rights.

Only direct representatives of the interests of the bourgeoisie can govern a country without minimum notions of human rights and respect for the dignified life and processes of women.

For a country with more human rights and social justice for all.