Combating violence against women in Latin America (ComVoMujer)

Project description

Title: Combating violence against women in Latin America (ComVoMujer)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Peru
Overall term: 2014 to 2017

Latin America. Children painted placards protesting against violence against women at the end of the programme for children ‘Finding courage through joining in’. © GIZ
Gender-specific violence against women is still very widespread in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay. Estimates show that between 30 and 50 per cent of women in the region experience physical violence at the hands of their partners (WHO 2010).

All the partner countries have committed themselves to preventing, combating and punishing violence against women. They have ratified major international agreements, and implemented action plans and national laws on protection from violence. However, due to the limited dialogue and exchange of information and lessons learned between public, non-governmental and private-sector stakeholders, it is difficult to enforce these laws and action plans.

Public, non-governmental and private-sector stakeholders in the region are working with one another to implement measures to combat violence against women.

The project works in two fields of activity:
  1. Improving cooperation and the exchange of information between regional and national stakeholders
  2. Cooperating with the private sector
Campaigns, studies and the dissemination of information support a process of social change that rejects violence against women. In addition, preventive measures implemented through state, non-governmental and private partnerships, as well as by universities and the media, aim to change views within businesses and organisations.


  • Using scientific studies to launch an accreditation process for violence-free companies
    In conjunction with the project’s partners, groundbreaking studies on the financial consequences for businesses of violence against women by their partners have been conducted in all four countries. The alarming figures caught the attention of businesses, and motivated them to begin cooperating with public and non-governmental stakeholders. One outcome of this is the introduction of the state accreditation ‘Safe business free from violence and discrimination against women’ in Peru and Paraguay.

  • Combating violence against women with an app
    Over 400 businesses in the region are now implementing numerous measures to combat violence, including campaigns and training programmes. They are also publishing guides on dealing with violence against women. A particularly successful cooperation arrangement between Ecuador’s largest telecommunications company and ComVoMujer has led to the app ‘Junt@s’ (‘together’) being pre-installed on all of the company’s mobile phones. With this app, women feeling threatened can alert either the emergency services or a trusted person by simply pressing a button.

  • Using online accreditation to train employees
    The online accreditation ‘Safe Business’ has proven to be a very efficient means of training as many employees as possible from all business areas. So far, more than 7,200 people in over 35 businesses and organisations, as well as at GIZ in Peru and Ecuador, have been accredited.

  • Letters from women – powerful words instead of violence
    The ‘Cartas de Mujeres’ (Letters from Women) campaign has been running in the region since 2011. The women, men and children affected by violence have expressed their pain in over 44,000 collected letters. This has provided them with a public platform, and brought the issue to the attention of the political authorities.

  • Programme for children: ‘Finding courage through joining in’
    ComVoMujer has developed a programme for girls and boys aged between six and nine that focuses on preventing violence. This has attracted great interest not only in the partner countries, but in Germany as well. The playful programme has so far introduced around 10,000 children to the issue of violence against women, while some 1,000 learning facilitators have been trained.

  • Breaking Silence – Femicide in Latin America
    Killing women just because they are women has a name: femicide. Femicide is particularly prevalent in Latin America. To combat this, the documentary “Breaking Silence” was filmed in cooperation with Deutsche Welle. Since 2014 this documentary has been broadcast every year throughout the region and internationally in Spanish, German, English and Arabic.

Latin America. An entire region joins the campaign to prevent violence against women: Crowds take to the streets on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, as the culmination of a campaign carried out in San Martí


Further Information


Breaking Silence – Femicide in Latin America


Christine Brendel