by María Isabel Vásquez Paredes, Valeria Argüello, and Daniela Rodríguez
In 2020, the Office of the Comptroller General of the State of Ecuador conducted its first-ever internal survey on gender equality. The survey asked 1,553 public servants within the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) about their awareness of the issue; the organizational culture; the prevalence of workplace harassment; and the need for gender equality policies.
These efforts reflect the SAI’s adherence to the September 2018 “Declaration of Santiago de Guayaquil” on gender equality, issued by the Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions of MERCOSUR and Associate Countries (EFSUR). Signatories to the Declaration agreed to seven accords, including to determine the current status of gender equality within their institutions, promote the development of regulations and policies that address this issue, and encourage citizen participation in the oversight of programs and policies implemented by governments to fulfill United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (gender equality).
In line with the Declaration, in 2019 EFSUR issued its IV Compilation of Gender Regulations, which analyzed member SAIs’ implementation of international and regional regulations, constitutional provisions, and national laws addressing criminal, labor, political, civil, and other rights related to gender. This report represented an important evaluation of progress in the region and served as a resource that SAIs could use to review government policies on this issue.
EFSUR is currently collecting information from SAIs on their progress on gender equality in 2020, for its next compilation. SAI Ecuador conducted its survey in order to contribute to this document and make positive changes internally.
SAI Ecuador issued a report on the findings of its survey, along with three recommendations: to strengthen knowledge of SDG 5 among staff, implement internal policies and take other actions to improve gender equality, and develop a comprehensive policy promoting this issue within the institution. A team of SAI officials with expertise in international relations, human resources, law, training, communications, and ethics will work to implement these activities, standards, and internal policies.