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Although the Bolivian constitution guarantees equal rights for women and men, women in Bolivia

face struggles in healthcare and cultural change. According to the Human Development Report
published by the Office of the United Nations Development Programme, in Bolivia "men receive
more and better education than women, receive increased and better health assistance than
women, and have the possibility to generate greater income while working less...if we consider
that women, as opposed to men, also have...the almost exclusive responsibility for domestic
work".[2] Maternal mortality and illiteracy among women are some of the highest rates in the
world.[2][3] Since men are generally more educated than women, especially among the
indigenous population, the high illiteracy rate make it difficult for women to learn the dominant
language Spanish which disables them to participate in the labor market.[4] In the informal
economy, Bolivia has about 65 percent of international migration workers, which is one of the
highest in Latin America.[5] Bolivian women are also exposed to excessive machismo, being
utilized as promotional tools in popular advertising which solidifies stereotypes and assumptions
about women.[6] There is limited access to healthcare. In 1992–1993, the annual rates of
mortality of children aged less than 5 years, were 205.5 per 1,000 and 98.5 per 1,000
In the 19th century, the 1830 civil code of Bolivia oversaw women's rights in the country. Under
the code, women had to practice obedience to their husbands. Women had no rights or legal
protection against domestic abuse. Bolivian law began to change in the early 20th century due to
pressure by upper class women. These women found inspiration in the work of feminist writer
Adela Zamudio. The General Labor Act of 1939 gave women protection regarding labor relations.
A constitutional amendment in 1949 stated that men and women were equal. Women earned the
right to vote in 1952 as part of the Bolivian Social Revolution. The Bolivian Constitution of 1967
declared that women and men were equal in regards to the law. The Civil Code of 1976 gave
women some rights in a family code. That code also gave all Bolivians personal liberty.[8]
Today, the Bolivian government acknowledges that laws protecting women are not enough. Poor
publicizing of the laws is credited with this problem, causing lawyers to not use the laws in court.
Furthermore, officials, often male, may choose not to enforce laws. Local and regional
governments also lack the resources to implement the laws. Illiteracy of Bolivian women is also a
possible cause, as women are unable to educate themselves about the laws that protect them.[9]
Political Involvement[edit]
Women's participation in Bolivian politics has increased by 16 percent as of 1992.[2] Despite
growth, indigenous women continue to lack influence in the political system. While Bolivian
president Evo Morales has supported reforms regarding opportunities for indigenous peoples to
hold office, opportunities for women have been lacking due to poor education and leadership for
women. There have been successful outcomes regarding women's political involvement. In 2010,
a national conference for indigenous women parliamentarians was held with almost 100
participants. During the election of 2009, the number of women elected to parliamentary positions
rose from 14 percent to 28 percent.[10] As of 2010, half of Morales' political cabinet consists of
women. Morales stated that he had dreamt of the opportunity to have half the cabinet members
be women, and called a "homage," to the women in his family. As of 2010, 30 percent of the
legislative branch seats were held by women.[11] That same year, Ana Marie Romero became
the first woman in Bolivian history to reside over the country's Senate.[12] Before Romero, Lidia
Gueiler Tejada presided over the lower Bolivian house and from 1978 until 1980 she was the
country's interim president.[12] In 1997, the Reform and Complementary Law to the Electoral
Regime was passed, requiring that all political parties have at least 25 percent female candidates
for the senate, and a third for other political offices.[13]
Since the empowerment of women in government in Bolivia, more than 200 organizations that fall
under the umbrella of the Coordinadora de la Mujer have been started. These organizations are
involved in policy change and law making. On election ballots, female and male names must be
alternated in order. An attempt was made by Elizabeth Salguero, who chaired the Commission on
Human Rights, to pass a law protecting women from political violence based on gender, but the

The women's perception is to have men get local jobs so there would be no need for them to travel a far distance to their job. or it could be a result of women trying to resist against men's leadership. it would steal the opportunity away from their husbands. Many Bolivian women have a different perception on the AZ and its purpose when it comes to economic opportunity and community development. the Aymaras believe in the term Chachawarmi.law was not passed. Within the Aymara community some indigenous women activists believe Chachawarmi should be used to decolonize and some believe it should be used for the community to stay the same. A study in 2009 focused mostly on Aymara activists living in the outskirts of La Paz analyzes in how they associate traditional customs. many middle-class feminists don't agree with the Chachawarmi tradition. It is a traditional concept among majority of the Aymara people who live in the Andes of Bolivia.[4] which means it is only for women. It is normal for women not to talk because men perceive them as not educated because they don't speak Spanish. The women asked for the proposal to include men because they thought that because as husbands they were companions in development. It is difficult for them to find solutions to find equality within the Chachawarmi system. and therefore they have different responsibilities within the Chachawarmi system.[4] In another part of Bolivia. Another reason was that there was an another responsibility placed on the women besides taking care of their families. state politics and native activism. and also the equality between men and women within their community. This idea was presented by the local government. Aymara people of Bolivia are advocates for their cultural customs and socio-political equality. the women did not like this idea. and advance in economic development. the women in charge proposed to analyze the differences in power between men and women. However. It has small effects to the rural community because of the conception of the women's gender role as a wife to their husbands. The project proposal was to help the women improve themselves and their community. which[14] means to have men and women be represented equally. how they participate in development work.[14] Some of the Aymara community stated they do not want to trade in or be decolonized from their traditional customs if they agree to live in accordance to the political laws and policies. is used under the term of gender politics. A project was created for women to have an economic opportunity to help them earn income. They were given the option to create a stone pathway and would be paid for their work. In the end. An indigenous group. The women wanted to give men the opportunity also. They believe that women and men are different. there are a group of indigenous women activists that do participate politically and want to decolonize. because they thought their opportunity would take away from their husband's opportunity to earn money.[12] Adela Zamudio(AZ) is known as a group of women that seeks to empower and educate indigenous women about structure in community development work among men and women. and they don't take the opportunity to earn income. . They also believe that men and women complement each other with their roles and responsibilities. Their identity as a partner and a wife to their husbands is intertwined with progress of economic development. Another reason for not wanting to be decolonized is because the Chachawarmi has been around since their community was established. If this project is what the women wanted to do. among the poor and middle class. Empowerment training. and also to let them know how to be involved in that. However. instead of creating competition between the two genders. two middle-class women from Bolivia that co-founded AZ they tried to establish an empowerment training class. The feminists convey the idea that Chachawarmi system undermines the Aymara women's participation because they do not engage much in the discussions or community meetings. not contestants. then the two middle-class women would bring the project proposal to the mayor's office in order to start the project. For them.[4] In 2005. and their way of living has remained the same. The purpose of AZ was to have indigenous women to participate more in development work in a political manner.

A focus was put on bilingual education for girls. which is credited with helping to lower the dropout rate.42 percent. while over 27 percent of Bolivian women don't speak Spanish. poor teaching training. women in Bolivia have the lowest rates in the continents region and is 20 percent under the Latin American average.[16] Girls who are pregnant might be expelled from school. Women living in rural areas have even higher rates of illiteracy.[15] Low government support regarding education in rural areas.[16] Bolivian women's school attendance rate is one of the lowest in South America.35 percent versus 6.91 percent versus men at 14. with rates being 19. a percentage lower than Chile (71 percent). and Peru (77 percent).[16] Girls in rural areas generally attend school up until the 3rd grade due to the demand of household work and helping to take care of younger siblings.6 percent attending.[14] Education[edit] A 2001 report by the National Institute of Statistics of Bolivia reported that Bolivian women are more illiterate than men.[2] Overall.[12][17] Overall.[15] The Law on Education Reform was passed in 1994 which promoted universal free educational opportunities for citizens regardless of gender. with only 64. at 37.[12] . but the analysis of understanding the different opinions of it is evaluated. Less women attend school in rural areas.There is no direct solution to this debate between gender politics and decolonization of the Aymaran people of Bolivia. making access to education through their native language a barrier. Colombia (72 percent).94 percent. respectively. 61 percent of women in Bolivia attend school as of 1998. educational programming and conflicts with the agricultural calendar all contribute to the education of girls living in rural areas.[13] The majority of educational opportunities are performed in Spanish.