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.