Group of Bolivian women in front of a yellow wall

Women in Bolivia

Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in South America. Approximately 37.7% of the population lives below the national poverty line, with poverty rates being the highest among its indigenous female population.

  • In Bolivia women continue to suffer high levels of discrimination and exclusion; specifically Bolivian women face:
    • One of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world
    • Low income generating capacity
    • High rates of violence against women
    • High illiteracy rates
  • Indigenous women in rural areas experience discrimination more acutely and are often marginalised from positive social changes.

Although the new constitution offers an appropriate framework to improve women’s rights, women in Bolivia continue to experience high levels of violence and exclusion.

Womankind in Bolivia

Womankind has worked in Bolivia since 2002 to address the underlying causes of discrimination and violence against women by building partnerships with some of Bolivia’s most active women’s rights organisations.

From the outset, we supported projects to increase the knowledge and abilities of indigenous women to assume decision making positions in their communities and local government levels and to address issues surrounding violence against women.

In recent years, we have continued to work to reduce exclusion and encourage the participation of marginalised women by capitalising on our previous work in the region. Find out more about the work we are doing in Bolivia

Our Achievements in Bolivia

  • Increased the knowledge of service providers on the implementation of the Familial and Domestic Violence Law to guarantee the right of Bolivian women a life free from violence.
  • 550 indigenous and peasant women leaders in 5 out of the country’s 9 regions acquired the knowledge to challenge discrimination and are actively participating in politics.
  • Increased the number of indigenous women journalists broadcasting more inclusive information on gender violence and women’s rights nation-wide.


Women’s voices

16 Stories: Ludmila, Bolivia

"I now know how to defend my rights for myself. I want my sons to learn that they should not make other people suffer by being violent."

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16 Stories: Irene, Bolivia

"I had lived with violence all my life since I was very little and I thought it was normal. I learned that if someone hits you or insults you it is not because they love you."

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Goodbye from the Senior Chief Executive of Womankind Volunteers

"I’ve learnt firsthand that if you change women’s lives you’ll probably change children’s lives and men’s lives for the better too. The end result is a better, fairer world."

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I am not afraid

“I now know about divorce and I that you can leave, I know that people cannot treat you badly, or discriminate against you, or hit you. I have more courage…" Nelly, Bolivia

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