Gender Based Violence


boliviaProject goal

This project aims to encourage the facilitation of a fair and harmonious society without violence for indigenous communities in Bolivia.

Partner organisation

Christian Aid has been financially supporting the Fundación Machaqa’s work with 48 indigenous communities in the Bolivian highlands since 2009.

The Fundacion Machaqa has been facilitating projects which provide basic literacy and business skills for two of the poorest most marginalised groups in La Paz: street porters (cargadores) and women selling goods on the street (ambulantes). These projects have been developed to enable these men and women to prepare business plans, complete applications and proposals and begin new independent and profitable businesses.

Project start date: 2014                            Project end date: 2016

Project area

The project area is quite varied and the project will be run in three territories: Vaca Diez, General Jose Ballivián and Yacuma which are all within the department of La Paz. The project will involve the following indigenous groups Takana, Cavineños and Aymara and Quechua. These communities are currently without main services like water and electricity and only a handful of communities have access to schools and health centres. The women in these communities are constantly under threat and face terrible human rights violations such as femicide (the violent murder of women for the simple reason that they are women).

The status of women in Bolivia is known to be a massive national problem, as they are not viewed as equal to men. According to a comparative study of the Pan American Health Organisation in 13 countries of the region, Bolivia has the highest rate of physical violence reported by women of the age range of 15-49 years.

This project has been developed to address these issues and promote equality.

Project summary

This project will contribute to the strengthening of social organisations with particular attention to women of the northern Amazon, and addressing the issue of gender from the perspective of socio-cultural practices. The participation of women in both social and political spaces is and has been purposefully weak and limited, enabling men continue to dominate. It is known throughout Bolivia that women should be further involved in the decision making, and indigenous women especially should have representation. However being involved in politics is unattractive and dangerous as they often find they become subject to harassment and political violence.

The Organisation of Indigenous Women North Amazonian Bolivia (OMINAB) was created in September 2010, with an organic constitution and a board of 6 women members. This organisation and others are focused on representing the rights of women who are experiencing issues of inequality and encouraging women to stand up and be heard.


Objective 1: To deconstruct and collectively build lasting equality between men and women in indigenous communities.

Objective 2: To reduce violence and promote the participation of women in both public and political spaces.

Objective 3: To generate national policies to contribute to the eradication of violence in political and public spaces.

Supporting goals:

  1. Women will be empowered to become leaders and get involved in both the local and national authorities and become participants in decision-making processes.
  2. Women will be encouraged and given the opportunity to represent their indigenous communities through meeting with the discrimination authorities and other relevant organisations to address issues of human rights violations and violence.
  3. Local and national authorities will be lobbied to address the issues of harassment and violence as faced by women in all areas of their lives, private, public and political.
  4. There will be a shift in cultural norms so the patriarchal system is no longer rooted in indigenous communities (women will no longer face automatic discrimination).
  5. Women will propose policies for reducing bullying and violence.
  6. Indigenous women will be safe to exercise their duties in public and political offices.


  • A responsible party will be formed to represent women.
  • Engagements will be made with local authorities and municipal authorities to ensure there is coherence between organisations and to ensure they are committed to meeting the objectives of this project.
  • Workshops will be held to focus on the construction of the concept of gender from the perspective of the cultural practices of the Takana, Cavineño, Aymara and Quechua indigenous groups.
  • Training plans will be developed by the Salesian University of Bolivia for indigenous leaders.
  • Indigenous leaders will then be trained on the needs of the population and must be committed to addressing them fully.
  • Radio programs will be developed and broadcast across Bolivia on the issue of gender roles in indigenous communities.
  • Skills workshops for women and men in the communities will be held, focusing on the automatic gender roles which are assigned to men and women through the socio-cultural practices in their indigenous communities.
  • Meetings will be held with councillors and national parliamentarians, to develop proposals and hold discussions with indigenous groups in order to create collective public policies and draft laws on harassment and violence through an intercultural approach.


There are three groups who will specifically benefit from this project, the Takana, the Cavineños and the Amara – Quechua. This phase of the project will specifically focus on the following:

Territory Male participants Female participants Total
Takana Cavineño

Beni: provincial Ballivian y Vaca diez





1250 men and women

40 leaders

Municipio de Ayata 540 1460 2000

Parliamentarians &

Indigenous leaders

75 65 women councillors’ association department of La Paz.

10 indigenous women in Bolivia parliamentary roles



This project will be sustainable as organisations, municipal governments and indigenous women’s organisations will have assumed responsibility in project implementation. Both the men and women in these indigenous communities have committed to contribute towards the achievement of the objectives through their participation in the development process. Both organisations and local authorities have committed to training the indigenous leaders in how to be more inclusive and how to represent their communities responsibly and fully.

Costing: ( Conversion rates:  *€1 = US $1.3805   *£1 = US $1.6735 )

Costing Amount USD Amount EU* Amount GBP*
Workshops deconstruction and construction of the concept of gender (8 workshops x year) 3,600 2607.75 2151.18
Plan training and development of modules 5,000 3621.88 2987.75
Meetings with social organizations in the intervention villages for training leaders 1,200 895.25 717.06
Participatory design of public policies on gender 3,000 2173.13 1792.65
Building baseline with 4 people (Takana, Cavineño, Aymara and Quechua) 4,000 1810.94 2390.20
Mobilization costs (flights, per diem, fuel) 3,500 2535.31 2091.43
Office Maintenance and repair vehicles, equipment 2,000 1108.03 1195.10
General administrative expenses (Telephone, Office rent, internet, etc.) 2,500 1810.94 1493.88
Workshops with councilors to formulate strategies elimination of violence and political harassment 2,500 1810.94 1493.88
Total $27,300 €18,374.17 £16,313.13