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Stopping violence against women: a resolution in Bolivia

The notable number of murders of women, and the violation of their rights in general, is an issue that worries and concerns the Bolivian government.


 Lemay Padrón Oliveros


Data from the Public Prosecutor’s Office revealed that these events have increased in recent years, since in 2014 71 cases were registered in 2014, 110 were added to this number in 2015, there were 111 in 2016, 119 in 2017 and they totalled 130 in 2018. So far this year there have been 73 cases, despite the laws adopted by the Executive Branch for the defence and protection of women, girls and adolescents.

Given the alarming figures, the Judicial Branch and the Special Cabinet to Combat Violence against Women and Children have agreed to the creation of gender units.

The approval of these protocols constitutes an unquestionable step forward, but there still exists a need to improve the functioning of the units and monitoring agencies so that the new policies in this area are executed.

Recently, the president of the Gender Committee, Elba Terceros, focused on some advances such as training courses for male and female judges, in addition to the official examination of judgments with gender perspectives. For its part, the magistrate of the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Cornejo, said that in her chamber, of every 10 cases that enter, between five and six are linked to acts of violence against women that require wider attention.

Last week the government, after a Cabinet meeting, approved a set of directives with the aim of curbing violence in the face of the growing number of women killed by violent men.

Among them, a percentage of the budget allocated to citizen security, derived from the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons, is designated to fighting violence.

In addition to this, work will be done from within the education system with parents, teachers and students to prevent violence by forming preventative measures, and from families to promote a culture of values.

Another measure is to eliminate impunity with the Police, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Judicial Branch, in order to accelerate justice for women, including in all government agencies.

Likewise, mayors, governorates, private companies and social organizations were appointed to become promoters and vigilantes in the fight against violence.

On top of this, the possibility of considering femicide as a crime against humanity is being evaluated, and if possible, the process will be international.

Supreme Decree 1347 was also modified, with the objective of implementing awareness and prevention measures that promote the harmonious and peaceful existence of families, through awareness-raising days.

Another approved supreme decree establishes compulsory training in violence prevention in the Bolivian state for both male and female public servants and personnel of public companies.
In recent days, the director of the Women’s Plurinational Service, Tania Sánchez, reported that the Ministry of Education is preparing a resolution so that on the 25th of each month students from the country’s educational units will carry out activities to prevent violence against women.

Sánchez urged the population to be part of the decalogue, which will be developed and monitored from her office, with social control and close monitoring of the Special Cabinet, under the direction of President Evo Morales.

We will not be able to reduce this problem that concerns us all without the participation of everyone, because the expression of violence to women at all ages is very prominent and we must stop it, he said.
The institutional steps are being taken, and although the struggle will be hard and long, this is expected to be the beginning of the end of this scourge that has affected Bolivian society for decades. (PL)

(Translated by Hannah Phelvin – Email: – Photos: Pixabay

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