Equal Measures 2030 Data Hub

Colombia

Gender Equality Context in Colombia

Colombia has strong laws and institutions to support the rights of girls and women. The country’s 1991 Constitution recognises women’s equality and outlaws gender-based discrimination. The High Presidential Office for the Equality of Women was created after the adoption of the Constitution to monitor policies on gender equity. National legal and policy frameworks aim to support gender equality, expand parental leave, establish a 30% quota for women candidates in all elections, allow the legal termination of pregnancies in some cases, and end gender-based violence (GBV) and discrimination.

A vibrant civil society has been instrumental in crafting policies to create a more equitable society, including advocating for women’s participation in the peace process that resulted in the historic 2016 accord between the Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP).

In practice, however, girls and women still endure discrimination; those in conflict-affected areas face significant challenges, including displacement. There are barriers to women’s access to land, agricultural resources and basic services in rural areas, as well as their opportunities to run for public office, their representation in government and their employment in the formal economy, alongside high rates of GBV. Many government policies and budgets continue to be ‘gender blind’ and designed without including gender perspectives.

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030
Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

Stories

From evidence to action: focus on GBV

As we mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, EM2030 seeks to share insights from its Global Advocates Survey on the issue of GBV.

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Advocating for rights of women displaced by the conflict

"I want to dedicate my time and energy to land rights for women and forced displacement as a result of the armed conflict."

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Women are claiming back their rights in Colombia

As a result of her experiences in the height of the armed conflict in Colombia, Margarita has dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights and liberties.

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“When you speak out on behalf of others, people will listen and it will prompt opportunities to make a small change. It is better to go out as a group, rather than as an individual. This is why I decided to focus on participation and social movements in the call for our rights.”

Nini, Colombia

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“For our country, our families and communities, the excluded, for so much pain, poverty, indignation and injustice, we are proud to be women weavers and creators of rights.”

Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres

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“We need to generate action to support women. Especially for rural women who may not fully know their rights.”

Margarita, Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres

Partner in Colombia

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres

Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres is a feminist pacifist national organization, made up of more than 280 grassroots, afro-descendant, indigenous, rural and urban women's organizations in nine departments (areas) in Colombia. Since 1996, the movement has denounced Colombia’s violence and its impacts on the lives, bodies and land of women. It mobilized across the movement to call for a political negotiation to end the armed conflict, and advocated for a gender approach in negotiations between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP.

Since the signing of the peace agreement in 2016, and with the support of EM2030, Ruta Pacífica is monitoring the development and implementation of the agreement in seven regions to guarantee the participation of women in post-conflict activities and to ensure compliance with the peace agreement’s women-related measures. Monitoring draws on freedom of information requests as well as information gathered from female leaders in the territories and other organizations. Ongoing monitoring provides powerful context-specific information, and data for advocacy are being gathered to ensure that the rights of girls and women are upheld and that the specific provisions for them within the peace agreement are met.

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Equal Measures 2030 Partners