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Bolivia: Massive March Against Gender Violence in La Paz

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Bolivia: Massive March Against Gender Violence in La Paz

Both women and men waved banners and flags that read «violence is not part of my culture, we want us alive.»

Hundreds of people from political and social organizations along with President Evo Morales and the president of the United Nations General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa mobilized on Aug. 9 in the main streets of the capital city, La Paz, to protest against gender violence.

Pedro Loyo

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Both women and men waved banners and flags that read «violence is not part of my culture, we want us alive.»

Espinosa assured that violence against women and girls «is not something normal» and must not be accepted at home, at work, or in the streets

«We are going to make a pact, a pact against violence, we are going to say no to discrimination against women, we are going to say no to violence and we are going to say no to femicide,» Espinosa said in a speech

While the minister of Justice and Institutional Transparency, Hector Arce, called for every Bolivian to join the government, the civil society, and the authorities to end gender violence

«The cases of femicide hurt us and make us mourn every day. That is why we have to make a pact, as a united society, as a united State to fight femicide and violence against women and girls in Bolivia,» he said

For her part, the executive secretary of the National Confederation of Peasant Women of Bolivia, Segundina Flores, said that the mobilization is very «important» as it seeks to raise awareness in society about an act that harms all the people

«We women have gathered to join the pain of so many families who lost their daughters because of the violence,» she added

At the end of the march, President Morales celebrated the massive mobilization and said that it is the responsibility, not only of the State but of all the Bolivian society to confront this issue. 

«This march calls our attention, all of us, not only the government, the assembly, or the justice system, but the people of Bolivia,» concluded the head of state. 

Junto a nuestras hermanas y compañeras participamos en la movilización «Vivamos sin Violencia» contra el feminicidio y la violencia hacia las mujeres. La hermana, la compañera, la mujer es la más sacrificada y la más comprometida en la integración de la familia. #YoMeSumo pic.twitter.com/iVPMIn7R41

Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) August 10, 2019 Together with our sisters and partners, we participate in the «Live without Violence» mobilization against femicide and violence against women.   The President had announced in July measures meant to address gender violence and femicides in the country, planning to label them as crimes against humanity

In 2019, his government set up a special women’s defense cabinet to counter violence and empower women, composed of seven ministries, in addition to the Plurinational Service for Women and Despatriarcalization, called «Ana Maria Romero» named after famous late journalist, activist and human rights defender Ana Maria Romero de Campero

Bolivia has implemented several laws to protect women, including the Comprehensive Law 348 to guarantee women a life free of violence, and Law 243 against Harassment and Political Violence against Women, but they have been proven difficult to put into practice

Morales also announced a new package of measures in March, including a bill to modify criminal definitions of rape and homicide, promote reorganization of courts, and allow feminist groups to accompany criminal proceedings

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