The Violet Law: Good Intentions but Far from the Goal

On 10th January 2023, the National Assembly of Ecuador passed the Organic Law to Promote the Violet Economy, which came into effect on 20th January after its publication in the Official Register.

Whilst the law aims, at least in illustrative terms, to achieve equal treatment and rights between men and women, it is still too early to consider it the ‘great architect’ for the reduction of the gender gap that it is said to be. In many ways, it addresses issues regarding gender equality in a superficial manner.

One of the issues with the Law is that it states that maternity leave, which is a personal right of the mother, should be transferred and shared with the father, as opposed to proposing a separate paternity leave. Another criticism is that it reduces the period of breastfeeding from 15 to 12 months when there is already a Constitutional Court ruling in favour of this right.

The positive aspects of the law include the creation of public programs and policies directly aimed at encouraging and increasing the participation of women in the country’s economy. The reforms of the Internal Tax Regime Law, the Labour Code, the Internships Law, and the Companies Law have been taken into account in order to create a structure which encourages and guarantees equality of opportunities, salary, and treatment in the workplace.

We hope that all these statements and good intentions can be put into practice through secondary regulations, as well as through the creation of programmes with sufficient funds to be able to be successfully carried out and maintained in the long term. Otherwise, we will once again be faced with a poignant, but otherwise useless, legislation.

By Gabriela Salazar, Partner of Corporate Law, Sempértegui Abogados

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