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Women’s Labor Law in Ecuador
Women’s labor law has become a letter of triumph for some and for other lessons to learn. In Latin America, firm steps have been taken in laws that tacitly protect their rights, however differences in the labor order are still marked. This work aims to show some discriminatory elements of Ecuadorian working women despite their marked legislative protection. For this, the disadvantageous situation of the working woman in Latin America and Ecuador is initially addressed, to subsequently expose the constitutional right against position with the reality of women towards work, as well as some guidelines for change.
When talking in the 21st century about the right to woman’s work, it seems a matter that becomes routine and it is thought that it lacks originality to write about what has already achieved. However, it is useful. Precisely one of the great revolutions linked to women at the end of the 19th century and throughout the twentieth, it was the incorporation of these into the educational network at the higher levels. As this achievement of access to culture, it is intended in the future to be able to count in relation to the equitable access of women to work.
Throughout the evolution of law, especially in recent years, laws, decrees, law decrees have been developed to establish the labor law of women. These have contributed to obtaining the results worldwide as a measure of adaptation of government actions to social needs. By emphasizing Latin America, especially Ecuador can appreciate a cumulus of laws that protect the proceeding in relation to women’s labor law, however there is also a marked violation of these laws with total impunity.
For Bolaños (2013) in the face of the phenomenon of discrimination, jurisprudence fulfills a vital part in the formation and practice of legal system law. The incorporation of human rights agreements and treated, as well as the internal legislation of progressive nature in that field, depends on international courts, such as the Inter -American Court of Human Rights, or National Courts, to make effective anti discriminatory norms effective.
Consequently, this work aims to show some discriminatory elements of Ecuadorian working women despite their marked legislative protection. For this, the disadvantageous situation of the working woman in Latin America and Ecuador is initially addressed, to subsequently expose the constitutional right against position with the reality of women towards work, as well as some guidelines for change.
- Disadvantageous situation of working women in Latin America and Ecuador
Salary equality between women and men without any discrimination is declared in the Integral Organic Law for the Prevention and Eradication of Gender Violence against Women of 2018. However, the current panorama is very different, women are still discriminated against work. Today in Latin America 60 % of women graduate from higher education unlike 40 % of men. When the active workforce is analyzed, a marked discrimination is appreciated, 20 % of difference in remuneration for the same work. Of that 60 %, only less than 5 % are directors of large companies. Although it is appropriate to have laws or public policies that protect gender equality;Each person has to change the way he sees girls and women, and this is to give the same treatment as a man and not differentiated deals.
Despite progress in the subject, few women globally have advanced until they occupy the highest management positions, such as executive director and member of the Board of Directors, for example.
On the other hand, the effects of the application of fees in Parliament in Latin America change significantly among countries. In Ecuador the fees have contributed notoriously for the increase in the participation of women in Parliament.
Aquino (2014: 597) affirms that in Ecuador the first standard on installments was provided for in the 1997 Labor Amparo Law, which established that the registration of lists of pluripersonal candidates would be conditioned to the inclusion of a minimum of 20% of candidates asmain and 20% as substitutes. The constitutional reform of 1998, in art. 102, addressed gender equality in political participation, expressing that:
[…] The State will promote and guarantee the equitable participation of women and men as candidates in the processes of popular election, in the instances of management and decision in the public sphere, in the administration of justice, in the control agencies and in thepolitical parties. Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (2014).
Several studies (Benítez and Espinosa, 2018; Ferreira, García, Macías, Pérez and Tomsich 2010) show that there are many women directives, who charge less than their male colleagues and that, often, feel discriminated against by the company and by society. So they occupy only 4% of management positions worldwide.
It is estimated that 100% of the women who work, only 7% of them can be located in a leadership position or a managerial position.
The Ecuadorian population, from once is a society of marked patriarchal sense that thinks that women are better to take care of children and the house, and that men are superior at work, business and leadership. Related to employment and trades;While it is already perceived that both men and women can adequately direct any process, there are still myths: women are not easily conceived such as plumb, mason, carpenter, mechanics, electrician or fisherman. However, there is a great advance in seeing them performing as police officers or agricultural workers.
- Constitutional law vs. women’s reality to work
The constitutional law of women is a relevant issue at the international level for the elaboration of public policies, for this it is a priority to detect the factors that influence the presence of this economic-social problem, since despite so many national and international laws and codesIt is a fact that they are not fully fulfilled and they continue with “a very fragile crystal roof”. They suffer the consequences of their gender and accrue lower salaries despite the fact that they correspond to them as men. The Ecuadorian Constitution provides for the labor parity of men and women in article 331:
The State will guarantee women equality in access to employment, labor and professional training and promotion, equitable remuneration, and the autonomous work initiative. All necessary measures will be adopted to eliminate inequalities […].Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (2014).
For its part in the Ecuadorian Labor Code, it is indicated in its article 79 that:
[…] The same corresponds to the same remuneration, without discrimination because of birth, age, sex, ethnicity, color, social origin, language, religion, political affiliation, economic position, sexual orientation, state of health, disability, or difference ofAny other nature […]. Labor Code (2012).
It is also consistent with regard to the labor rights of pregnant women and non -discrimination against this State.
[…]. Not be discriminated against by their pregnancy in educational, social and labor fields […].Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (2014).
Despite the comparative study of women’s labor law, carried out by the authors, it is found that the Labor Code is not protective enough towards the embedded woman, since it gives a salary guarantee for the puérapera two weeks before delivery and 10 weeksafter it. However, other Latin American countries such as Cuba, for example, have an even greater period, includes a license paid for six weeks before delivery, and 12 after delivery and subsequently has a payment at 60 % of their accumulated salary during the 12 monthsPrior to motherhood, until the son or daughter turns a year of life. He also has the right to other complementary paid licenses to facilitate medical care to his child. In case of multiple pregnancy, the paid license prior to childbirth extends to eight weeks. In the Maternity Law it is also provided that the pregnant worker has the right to enjoy six days or twelve half days of paid license, for the purposes of their medical and stomatological care prior to childbirth.
On the other hand, the father, according to the Ecuadorian Code, has the right to license with remuneration for ten days for the birth of his daughter or son when the birth is in normal, extendable to five more days for exceptional issues and only in cases of:
[…] Death of the mother during childbirth or while enjoying the maternity license, the father may use the totality, or where appropriate, of the part that subtracts the license period that corresponded to the mother ifI would not have died.
On the other hand in the Cuban case, the father, in addition to these benefits of death of the mother, can be hosted by muto agreement with the mother to the period provided by the law once expired the 12 weeks of the postnatal license and until the childOr daughter arrive at the first year of life, provided that the mother returns to her work activity. Even care can be extended to one of the maternal or paternal grandparents that are workers, who receive the social benefit ascending to 60 % of their average monthly salary, for which the wages perceived in the 12 months previousAt the birth of the minor.
These provisions make the working woman receive a right treatment in their status as a mother, that the father and family in general assume a leading role in the care of minors and taboos that confine women to mother and housewife areoverwhelmed.
- Guidelines for change
From the Constitution to its instrumentation and implementation, it is still far from parity. According to Espinoza and Gallegos (2018) for a long time women have had to suffer some kind of labor discrimination, they are offered minor salaries compared to men, they are excluded from certain tasks because they are thought that they are not suitable,Or because they find it more expensive to hire them, they must at some point enjoy maternity permits or simply relegate them to a lower level job, still trained. In addition to this, on many occasions they are required a pregnancy test, or the use of some contraceptive method.
It is appropriate to point out that the law must be even more severe in terms of penalties and punishments about those natural and legal persons that infringe the legislated. Consequently, it is necessary to make major efforts that range from adjustments and strengthening to legal, normative and institutional frameworks, the establishment of budgets defined for equality and reorientation of public policies, until the promotion of a deep cultural change, free of stereotypesgender, to expand the possibilities of completely eradicating the forms of labor discrimination of women.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development constitutes the most seriousness effort that the international community has made in terms of protection of women’s rights, compromises not only governments (at any level they operate), but also the set of actorssocial, everyone from their respective functions and capacities. The achievement of the agenda must constitute an international obligation and alignment of the different levels of governments, as well as of societies, with transformative and sustainable development transformative strategies.
The sustainable development objectives are the medium from which the UN leads a worldwide initiative to face the challenges;They are considered one of the most valuable opportunities to strengthen with a global perspective a development that benefits everyone;to insert gender equality with value, civic awareness, dialogue, education, coexistence, respect and solidarity. Inclusion requires comprehensive public-private policies and alliances in order to facilitate the access of social rights to all people in terms of integration and economic development. Objective number five is the direct key of gender equality. Access to education, medical care and work must be facilitated, with representation in the processes of adoption of sustainable political and economic decisions to benefit humanity as a whole.
The UN Women’s program supports Member States in the establishment of international standards to achieve gender equality, supports the equal participation of women, focusing on priority areas between them, the increase in leadership and participation of women;the increase in economic empowerment and the incorporation of gender equity as a central element of development planning and national budget. Works throughout the planet to become the ideal of the objectives of sustainable development for women and girls. Progress is made in various aspects, in particular the consideration that men and women have equal duties and rights and that they can make the same decisions.
What remains to continue in the struggle for labor equality? Recognize that it is not enough to improve the laws and prepare prosecutors, judges and lawyers for being they interpret and apply them. It is also necessary to prioritize the awareness and training actions to law professionals who reinforce synergies at all levels (Courts, Prosecutor’s Office, Organization of Collective Firm and Ministry of Justice). It is required to build, with the technical support of the Jurists’ Union, a gender strategy in the legal sector that contributes to implement the measures of the National Action Plan for the Beijing Conference and the Beijing Conference and theRecommendations of the CEDAW expert committee linked to labor law.
Gender equality in the workplace is a necessary good and a pending account still today in Ecuador. Although progress has been made in this area, there is still hard work around this problem. The Ecuadorian Labor Code must be even more protective of pregnant women to get it to play their role in the workplace.
The elimination of sexist stereotypes that typecast women in the traditional role of wife and mother, which conditions an inequitable distribution of domestic tasks and limit the valuation of their real possibilities to direct;achieve the awareness of officials at different levels of management, political and community organizations, and the woman herself, in order to raise her self – esteem and the awareness of the importance of her contribution to social development to social development.
Research such as this contributes to the growth and knowledge of female reality, where in addition to the valuations about its incorporation into the different spheres of life, criteria are proposed that allow consolidating gender equality. Talking about women today means to capture the story of which each woman is a part, fundamentally, to show how much of them is present in the development of today’s society.
- Ferreira, c.;Garcia, k.;Macías, l.;Laziness. and Tomsich, C. (2010). Women and men from Ecuador in figures III. Strategic information series.
- Benítez, d. and Espinosa, B. (2018). Salary discrimination by gender in the formal sector in Ecuador using administrative records. Work notebook. National Institute of Statistics and Census. 6. pp.1-25.
- Espinoza, m.A. AND GALLEGOS, D DEL P. (2018). Labor discrimination in Ecuador. Spaces. 39 (23), pp. 32-38.
- Bolaños, f. (2013). The role of jurisprudence in the fight against discrimination. In the IX American Regional Congress of Labor and Social Security Law, Guayaquil, Ecuador, from October 2 to 4.
- Labor Code (2012). Ecuador National Congress. Available at: http: // www.worked.Gob.EC/WP-CONTENTE/UPLOADS/DOWNLOADS/2012/11/C%C3%B3DIGO-DE-TABOJO-PDF.PDF [Accessed 14/1/2019].
- Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (2014). Official publication of the National Assembly of the Republic of Ecuador, Quito-Ecuador.