polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Women’s Voices from Quito

by Jordi Sánchez-Cuenca

Source: Municipality of Quito

Since Nov. 25, 2011, coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Municipality of Quito in Ecuador is leading an innovative and inspiring campaign called "Cartas de Mujeres" (Women's Letters). With support from UN-WOMEN, GIZ and other public and private organizations, the campaign invites women from all social backgrounds to share testimonials about their lives and write about a better world without discrimination and violence against women. The campaign's aim is twofold: making society aware of the crude reality that many, if not most, women live in our sexist world and contributing to debate and public policy toward eradication of this pandemic.

The campaign was an initiative of the city of Quito, but has reached a national scale — it has gathered more than 11,000 original letters, according to the latest counts. The campaign is already exhibiting its results in Quito's Contemporary Art Center. Once it is over, the most representative stories will be disseminated through radio and television and even become cinema productions. The most important expectation from the campaign, though, is that the city's government policies on gender will be inspired by real problems and effective solutions coming from these letters.

Source: Municipality of Quito

The letters exhibited make readers realize the burden that sexism means for the society as a whole, not only for victims of discrimination and violence. These stories show how discrimination and violence against women destroy whole families and inhibit or hinder half of the population from developing their talents and contributing to development.

+ share