22 Feb

Some facts about sexist violence in Bolivia

Some facts about sexist violence in Bolivia

Violence against women is a structural problem in Bolivia and in the region, according to the Prevalence and Characteristics of Violence against Women (EPCVM) Survey  developed by the INE in 2016, more than 90% of women older than 17 years, single, married and separated, state that they have suffered some kind of physical, psychological, economic or sexual violence, in the public sphere, the place of study, the workplace or within the family nucleus, at some point in their life; Likewise, on average every three days a woman dies a  feminicide victim at the national level, which represents the highest point, "the tip of the iceberg", of sexist violence against women in Bolivia.

In all life areas, be it public or private, social, political, economic or cultural, sexist stereotypes and practices persist that perpetuate different violence expressions and discrimination against women; In the economic aspect, women generally face more adverse situations than men to get a job in which their workforce is recognized, the employment sources destined for women are of lower quality, they generate income smaller and more unstable than employment sources for men.

In home, women spend most of their time on domestic tasks and caring for the family, the roles are unbalanced between women and men and this generates a doubling of the women working day who, in addition to performing domestic tasks they work outside home, and it also represents a reduction in the opportunities for women to intervene in public life by spending most of their time on tasks carried out inside the home.

In the political sphere, despite the fact that it is recognized that there have been advances in the last decade regarding the women participation in political life, particularly in rural area, women still face strong pressure, discrimination and political violence on the part of their eventual political rivals, be they men or women, and the highest representation positions are still almost exclusively male.

In contrast, the complaints number that are actually made by women in pertinent instances, for any type of violence, are very few compared to the dimension of the real problem, referring back to the EPCVM it is estimated that not even 5% of the total violence cases suffered by women have been reported to the police, municipal services, the prosecutor's office, community authorities or another instance.

Women proportion in their opinion regarding how a woman should react when she suffers violence

There is a clear dissociation between the attitudes and women practices regarding violence, the majority consider that any violence expression  should be reported to the relevant authorities, however, when faced with violence situations, a women majority do not report their attacker and "they let him pass."

Women distribution according to reactions type  they had in cases of having experienced different violence types

There are many factors that influence this reality, one of the main ones is that the aggressor is usually a family member, or a close friend, a boss, teacher or someone who exercises hierarchical power over them, so so reporting would imply a series of family, social, labor, academic conflicts for women who prefer not to assume, it also has a lot to do the prevailing impunity and the ineffectiveness of care services (police, prosecution, municipal services, community authorities among others) and of the judicial system itself, since it is generally known that less than 5% of the complaints that are filed with the prosecution in violence cases end in a sentence for the aggressor.

In more concrete terms, women are afraid of denouncing, fear of being re-victimized, of “making the problem bigger”, of exposing themselves to family and friends and of exposing their children, different fears types for different violence types  than the institutions and society does not finish understanding, they judge easily and do not solidarize, and this institutional and social judgment, this lack of solidarity, only strengthens the aggressors, strengthens sexist violence and perpetuates it as part of an unjust and oppressor patriarchal system.