The Republic of Ecuador is a multicultural country located in the western portion of South America and is the second smallest country in South America. Most of the population is of mixed descent and is known as mestizaje. The predominant culture is Hispanic and the predominant religion is Roman Catholic. Ecuador has one of the largest indigenous populations in South America. Traditional maledominated gender roles remain even though women have civic and legal equality. Ecuador ranked 23rd of 134 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2009 Gender Gap Report.

Domestic arrangements vary by region and ethnicity. There is a strong emphasis on family life, with both nuclear and extended family arrangements common. The 2009 fertility rate was 2.6 births per woman. Although 73 percent of ...

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