NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY
HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    


  March 18, 2013

Bolivia Passes Gender Violence Law


Legislation seeks to combat high levels of violence against women
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter


The reason I continue to support TRNN is, not only is it real, it is also the most truthful. - Dick S
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


biography

David Dougherty began working with The Real News Network in 2011, covering contemporary social movements and international relations in the Americas. He is a regular collaborator with TeleSur TV. David lives and works in both La Paz, Bolivia and Baltimore, Maryland.


transcript

DAVID DOUGHERTY, PRODUCER, TRNN: In La Paz, Bolivia, community members and loved ones of Juana Quispe gather for a vigil, followed by a march on the prosecutor'’s office demanding justice and an end to violence against women. It’s been a year since Quispe was murdered, and like the majority of similar cases, nobody has been held responsible for her death.

The Plurinational State of Bolivia has passed a new law aiming to address soaring levels of violence against women in the South American country. The new “Comprehensive Law to Guarantee Women a Life Free of Violence” was signed into effect by President Evo Morales on Saturday, March 9.

Teofila Guarachi Cusi is the ombudswoman of the La Paz department. She says the new law is multifaceted and will impact areas of education, health, and most importantly judicial proceedings.

TEOFILA GUARACHI CUSI, OMBUDSWOMAN, LA PAZ DEPARTMENT (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): The document touches upon a number of themes, including working in the areas of prevention, prosecution, sanctions, and of course restitution. Prevention means working with the Ministry of Education so that the educational curriculum can include the subject of gender equity and the subject of women's human rights…. The law also in a way allows the creation of specialized courts, authorities that will be trained in areas of gender, violence, human rights, and that this be applied in order to prevent cases from remaining in impunity.

DOUGHERTY: Bolivia's rates of femicide and violence against women are among the highest in Latin America, and like a number of countries around the world, they have steadily risen over the past decade. Since the start of 2013, more than 30 women have been murdered in Bolivia. A recent high-profile case in February where journalist Hanali Huaycho was stabbed to death by her husband sparked public outcry and pressured legislatures to move forward in passing the law that was introduced in Congress more than three years ago.

A number of women’s organizations and social movement participated in drafting the legislation, which establishes judicial and sentencing codes that distinguish between femicide and other forms of homicide. Mary Marca is the executive director of CIDEM, the Center for Women's Information and Development, a women's organization that has done extensive work on issues of gender violence and participated in drafting the new law.

MARY MARCA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CIDEM (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): It'’s an important regulation, an important advance that as women activists and institutions and organizations we have been elaborating for the past ten years. Practically every word and every letter in the law contains a story of violations against women. However, we also want to say that if this law does not have sufficient resources, if the law is not properly applied with organizational hierarchy and resources and political courage, it'’s going to have problems.

DOUGHERTY: The government of President Evo Morales and the new political constitution approved in 2009 have made a number of efforts to address gender inequality in Bolivia. Fifty percent of President Morales's cabinet is comprised of women, and Bolivia is currently one of the only countries in the world to have both houses of Congress headed by women. The government, led by MAS, the Movement Towards Socialism, has created an office of depatriarchalization in tow with its general discourse of decolonization. Rodolfo Calle Inca is a representative for MAS from the La Paz department who says the new law is part of the government's broader initiatives to dismantle patriarchy.

RODOLFO CALLE INCA, MAS REPRESENTATIVE, DEPARTMENT OF LA PAZ (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Throughout the world it has been believed that the man is the owner of the woman. The man has treated the woman as if she were private property, giving rise to patriarchy. We want to struggle against this and we want for there to be equality, as established in our constitution, as well as in treaties in international law.

DOUGHERTY: Many women's groups in Bolivia say the government still has a long way to go to ensure the full protection of women's rights, and that rhetoric has not always translated into concrete achievements. For Bolivian sociologist and feminist Ximena Machicao, the new law is an important advance, but is limited in its capacity to address what she says is a structural problem that is still widely socially accepted in Bolivia.

XIMENA MACHICAO, BOLIVIAN FEMINIST, SOCIOLOGIST (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Violence against women is still viewed as natural. It is seen as normal. It is socially legitimized. And in my point of view, the laws contribute to closing gaps and ending certain types of impunity, but this is not sufficient as long as there is not a change in beliefs, in habits and customs and attitudes in society as a whole.

DOUGHERTY: The United Nations has praised Bolivia for its passage of the new law against violence towards women. For women's groups in Bolivia, it remains to be seen whether the state will guarantee the successful implementation of the law as they continue their struggle against femicide and all forms of gender violence.

Reporting from La Paz, Bolivia, this is David Dougherty with The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

Women March in Defiance of Trump
Cape Town Water Wars: A Literal Shitstorm
Massive Oil Spill in East China Sea Is the Size of Paris
Rather Than Address Crime, Baltimore Officials Try to Relocate It
TRNN Replay: Reality Asserts Itself - Troy LaRaviere
Real Media: Former British Diplomat Turned Anarchist
Laura Flanders Show: Star Power for People Power
CFPB Moves to Aid Depredation of Society's Weakest
Baltimore Spends Billions on Corporate Subsidies but Can't Heat Its Schools
Can a New Baltimore Police Commissioner Fix a Corrupt Department?
Trump Keeps US in Syria and Sets Off New War
Korean Olympic Unity Gives US War Plans a 'Bloody Nose'
Set Up By FBI Informant, NODAPL Activist Pleads Guilty
Prosecutors Push on Against 59 Protesters Despite Defeat
Mayor Announces New Baltimore City Community Grants Program
The US is Arming and Assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, While Congress Debates Prohibition
After Hawaii Scare, Trump Worsens Nuclear Danger
Baltimore Mayor Fires Police Commissioner Kevin Davis
2017 Hottest Year On Record Without El Nino Push
Yemen's Crisis is Far Worse Than We're Told
IRS Private Debt-Collection Program is 'Indefensible'
New Orleans Human Rights Resolution Under Attack Because It Could Affect Israel
The Grenfell Community's Silent Steps for Justice
Abbas Gives Up on US, but Palestinians Give Up on Him
Whistleblowers: Congress Has Entrenched the Surveillance State
Catalonia Independence Crisis Intensifies Spain's Political Divide
Repression Against Honduran Opposition Intensifies
The Jobs Trump Promised to Save Are Disappearing
#TheAssistance: Democrats Hand Trump Warrantless Spying
Freddie Gray Protesters Take Police Officers to Court

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting