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Ecuadorian female leader juggles family and community roles

World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development

An indigenous community female leader in Ecuador believes that women work more than men, and have to always prove their leadership capabilities. 47 year old, Hilda Rosalia Allaica Guamán, the head of the Board of Irrigation for the past three years, talks about her experience as a community leader, wife and mother of two. In this regard, two World Bank reports on gender equality and development were presented in Quito, Ecuador, on November 14, 2011

Carolina Sánchez Páramo speaking
Carolina Sánchez Páramo speaking at a WDR event in Quito, Ecuador, on November 14, 2011

The World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development (WDR) and main messages of the gender regional study were presented by Carolina Sánchez Páramo, World Bank's Lead Economist and author of the WDR to more than 100 participants, mostly district and government officials, community leaders, CSOs and academia.

Hilda reflected on one of the main messages of the WDR regarding women's time constraints between household duties and paid employment or other roles. She said it is not easy for a woman to hold a public office. This requires juggling daily chores and family roles, with community leadership roles. Hilda who lives in Pungala village, Chimborazo province, is a farmer. She wakes up daily at 4:00 am to take care of her family, farm animals, and works her farm, in addition to her community leadership duties, and goes to bed at around 9:00 pm. Hilda says "most women have to fight a daily battle to prove that they have the same skills as men to hold public office or leadership positions in their communities."

Participants from this event listening to Carolina Sánchez Páramo.

The World Bank's Resident Representative in Ecuador, María Dolores Arribas Baños said, Ecuador has made significant progress in achieving gender equity. "Ecuador's provision of sexual and reproductive health services is good, compared with countries at a similar level of income. In spite of progress made, there are a number of gender concerns in Ecuador such as adolescent fertility and maternal mortality are higher than the region's average. Furthermore, women still face constraints in accessing the labor market, and those who are employed still receive lower wages than men with similar education levels," she said.

The event was hosted by the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO). Discussions of the reports' findings were led by Rosa Guamán, President of the Jambi Kiwa organization and peasant leader, Juan Ponce, Academic sub director of FLACSO, Norman Wray, President of the Equity Commission in the Metropolitan District of Quito, and Tatiana Ordeñana, Councilor of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control.

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