Colombia launches Campaign ‘Take Part in Women’s Rights’

Translated by: Diana Méndez, a CSN Volunteer Translator

Edited by: Nora Walker


The campaign’s objective is to unite Colombians around the defense of women’s rights.

The top women’s rights adviser to the president on women’s rights, Cristina Plazas, issued a call to all Colombians to join the “Toma Partido por los derechos de las Mujeres” (Take a Stand for Women’s Rights), which in association with Dimayor (Major division of Professional Colombian Soccer) seeks to alert society to the disparity between men and women in the country.

“We all need to understand that if women do not have access to their rights, the entire country is affected,” said Cristina Plazas, who added, “President Santos’ government and governors all over the country have understood that in order to end inequality, it is necessary that everyone be committed to this goal and this is the call I issue to all Colombians today.”

Cristina Plazas also said that “the government is celebrating International Women’s Day with concrete actions, and this is why we want for all of us to move forward and step up to this challenge as a national concern, and what better excuse than soccer to organize Colombians around support of women’s rights?

Within the framework of “Take a Stand for Women’s Rights,” the high council will develop a series of events which seek to make people aware of these issues. The first of these shall be a symbolic act in the facilities of the ICBF (the Colombian institute for family wellness) in which the ex-soccer players Agustin Julio y Leider Preciado will have a symbolic penalty shootout with officials and guests.

During the course of the proceedings of the 9th Postobon League and Tournament, along with the Dimayor, and the Colombian Soccer Federation will commemorate International Women’s Day during soccer games throughout the weekend of March 24th and 25th in the following cities: Bogotá, Medellín, Barranquilla, Armenia, Ibagué, Itagüí, Tunja, Cúcuta, Cali, Santa Marta, Pereira and Bucaramanga.

“We will have a grand party and invite everyone to stop for a minute in the middle of the soccer euphoria so that they think about and take a stand for the rights of all women,” said the High Councilor.

The state of Women in Colombia:

  • In Colombia, women are 50.6% of the population and this number rises to 52% in urban areas.
  • Only 14% of Congress is comprised of women.
  • 19.5% of adolescents are or have been pregnant; 64% are not planned pregnancies and 50% of young people that have ceased attending school claimed that they did so because of pregnancy or because they were going to become parents.

Economic Inequality

Women work (on average) 10.8 more hours than men (for both paid and unpaid labor).

Nevertheless, WOMEN earn an average of 20% less than men for the same work.

Domestic Violence

  • Currently in Colombia, Medicina Legal (The national institute of legal medicine and forensic sciences) reports that more than 50,000 women are victims of domestic violence. This does not include all the cases that do not get reported.
  • 8 out of every 10 people who die as a result of domestic violence are women.
  • 89% of the victims of domestic violence are women.
  • 84% of the victims of sexual abuse are women.

In 2010, of all the intrafamilial violence where the victim was a woman, domestic violence represented 74% of all cases (51,182 women). Of these:

a)    32,659 were between the ages of 20 and 34 years old.

b)    21,153 were attacked by their permanent partner.

c)     12,841 were attacked by their husbands.

d)    8,208 were attacked by their ex-partner.

  • May 2010 was the month with the highest number of domestic violence cases reported; there were 2,672 cases.
  • Sunday was the day of the week in which the most domestic violence cases were reported; there were 12,562 cases.
  • The times at which the highest number of domestic violence cases were reported were between 6 PM and 12 AM with 19,829 cases reported.
  • 59% of victims were attacked in their homes.

In 2010, 1,444 women were victims of homicide; 26% of the victims died in their own homes.

The figures for 2011 have not yet been released by Medicina Legal in their Forencis report.

Sexual Violence

  • In 2010 women represented 84% of the victims of sexual crimes; there were 16,916 (reported) cases.
  • It is important to highlight that the suspected aggressor is someone close to the victim (belonging to the victim’s family, partner and friends) in 51% of the cases.
  • Keeps with previous years’ trend in which 59.14% of all reported cases the attack took place in the victim’s home.

Tolerance when faced with VBG (Inclusive Program Against Gender-based Violence)

  • 75% of the men surveyed opined that if the man is angry, it is best not to provoke him.
  • 32% of the men surveyed think that “real men” are capable of controlling women.
  • 41% of the men surveyed think that a woman’s most important role is to take care of their homes and cook for their families.
  • 36% of the men surveyed think that a good wife should obey her husband even if she is not in agreement.
  • Of the men who said yes to having or having had a partner, 50% affirmed that they had insulted and disparaged their partner.
  • 29% believe that women who that get involved with violent men should not complain.
  • 10% justifies putting up with the VBG in order to keep the family together.
  • 79% think that familial problems should only be discussed within the family and 89% think that “you do not air your dirty laundry in public”
  • 59% of the men surveyed think that women who dress provocatively expose themselves to be raped.
  • 18% think that a woman who has been sexually assaulted placed herself in the situation in the first place (Social stratus 1: 27%; Social Stratus 6: 1%)
  • 20% of women interviewed (2 out of every 10) indicated that one of the factors that increases their fear of their partner attacking them is if their partner drinks alcohol.

Economic weight of violence against women

The State’s effort to help the victims involves more than 15 institutions which devote 7%-20% of their budgets:

  • Comisarías de Familia                   (Family commissioners)
  • Defensoría del Pueblo                    (People’s Advocacy)
  • Líneas de Orientación 123 y 125  (Guidelines 123 and 125)
  • Juzgados penales, promiscuos, laborales y civiles (Courts of mixed jurisdiction)
  • Procuraduría                                    (Public Attorneys)
  • Personerías Municipales               (Municipal Offices)
  • Policía Nacional                              (National Police)
  • Centros y Puestos de Salud           (Health stations and centres)
  • Secretarías de Salud                       (Health Secretary)
  • Instituto de Medicina Legal          (Legal Medicine Institute)
  • Fiscalía (Cavi, URI)                        (Prosecutor General’s Office)
  • Instituto de Bienestar Familiar   (Family Wellness Institute)
  • Inspecciones de Policía                 (Police Inspections)


Author:  Alta Consejería Presidencial para la Equidad de la Mujer

Location: Bogotá, Colombia

Date Published: March 8, 2012

Source: Alta Consejería Presidencial para la Equidad de la Mujer



(This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.)

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.