Many women are currently struggling in Bolivia, experiencing poor working conditions and still dealing with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overloaded with work, they face difficulties at home with limited access to basic services including clean water, sanitation and energy.
Women in Bolivia also face increasing rates of gender-based violence (GBV), which impacts both their physical and mental wellbeing. The Public Ministry stated that 51,911 cases of GBV have been recorded against women and minors in 2022, an increase of over 4,000 since 2021. Santa Cruz (18,361 cases) and La Paz (11,849 cases) were highlighted as the regions with the highest number of complaints, and 94 femicides were also recorded.
Despite the existence of pro-women regulations, structures restricting participation that allows women to make the decisions they need to improve their living conditions and health persist.
Doctors of the World has been present in Bolivia since 2001 and started in the department of La Paz. We have gradually expanded our work in the country and are currently working in 25 municipalities in the departments of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Pando (Gonzalo Moreno, San Lorenzo and Bolpebra), Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Potosí.
Our main action plan is to help institutions implement a comprehensive health policy, with the goal of improving the health of the most vulnerable populations, particularly women. Our approach aims to promote the participation of men and women from affected communities so that their voices are heard and included in the decision-making process, regarding health and gender equality issues. We particularly encourage women and adolescents from indigenous communities to understand and exercise their fundamental human rights.
This strategy was complemented by strengthening the power of local governments in order to prioritize the well-being of the populations. It was carried out through processes and integrated historically excluded groups to define public policies of inclusion and social protection that aim to promote social and gender co-responsibility, guiding the transformation of traditional models that accentuate the violation of vulnerable groups. This approach has been used in many different regions of Bolivia and has already benefited thousands of people.
Province of Velasco and San Antonio de Senkata | April 15, 2021 – January 14, 2024
El Alto municipality | January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023
Municipalities of San Miguel, San Rafael and San Ignacio de Velasco | August 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024