Bolivia

Bolivian women

Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in South America. Around 50% of the population lives below the national poverty line, with the highest rates among indigenous females (source: World Bank 2009 and UNDP 2009-2012).

Women’s rights in Bolivia

Although Bolivia’s constitution (a set of fundamental principles according to which a country is governed) takes into account women’s rights – including those of indigenous people – there is still high levels of violence, discrimination and exclusion. Women face high maternal mortality rates, illiteracy and low incomes, while also struggling to take on leadership roles. The situation is worse in rural areas.

Supporting women in Bolivia

We are working with several women’s rights organisations towards:

 Making a difference

Our partners work has successfully:

  • Contributed to the passing of a landmark law in May 2012 tackling harassment of women political leaders
  • Increased indigenous women’s self-confidence and ability to participate in politics. Many of the women that have attended workshops are now participating in politics as elected council women, ministers and union leaders
  • Increased awareness on several different laws and government programmes including the Familial and Domestic Violence Law and the National Strategic Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan
  • Increased the number of indigenous female journalists broadcasting information on violence against women and women’s rights
  • Created justice committees in rural areas to challenge and prevent violence against women
  • Changed public attitudes and beliefs around women’s rights
  • Created the Observatory of the Political Participation of Women at Local Level in Bolivia, enabling data about political harassment and violence against women to be publicised and used by the media

 



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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