Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Monday that the government will form a special women’s defense cabinet to counter violence against women and children and empower women.
This announcement came immediately after the world marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25, when feminist and progressives around the world rallied under the slogan #vivasnosqueremos, or we want us alive, to demand government action and shed light on all forms of violence against women.
“We have decided to create a Special Cabinet to fight against violence against women and children, a cabinet made up of seven Ministries that I will personally direct in coordination with women's organizations throughout Bolivia,” Evo Morales said.
The Plurinational Service for Women and Depatriarchalization (Servicio Plurinacional de la Mujer y de la Despatriarcalizacion in Spanish) will be named after famous late journalist, activist and human rights defender Ana Maria Romero de Campero.
Tenemos la Ley 045 contra el Racismo y toda forma de Discriminación, la Ley 348 Integral para Garantizar a las Mujeres una vida libre de Violencia, la Ley 243 contra el Acoso y Violencia Política hacia las Mujeres. Hay muchas leyes, pero no estoy viendo que se apliquen. pic.twitter.com/5kSsHMDv7q— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) November 26, 2018
The president wrote on Twitter: “We have Law 045 against Racism and all forms of Discrimination, Comprehensive Law 348 to guarantee women a life free of violence, Law 243 against Harassment and Political Violence against Women. There are many laws, but I am not seeing them applied.”
“Fulfilling a State responsibility, we decided to create a special Cabinet to Fight Violence against Women and Children, which will be composed of seven ministries; in addition to the Plurinational Service for Women and Despatriarcalization, called "Ana Maria Romero," Morales explained via Twitter.
Cumpliendo con una responsabilidad de Estado, decidimos crear un Gabinete especial de Lucha contra la Violencia a la Mujer y a la Niñez, que estará compuesto por 7 ministerios; además del Servicio Plurinacional de la Mujer y la Despatriarcalización, llamado “Ana María Romero”. pic.twitter.com/Pf3pUq2yCX— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) November 26, 2018
According to the office of State Attorney General, between January and September 2018, 85 cases of femicides were reported in Bolivia.
Morales stated that "it is a huge responsibility to work on how to end this violence against women" and highlighted specific groups of women have a heavier burden, like Indigenous women who endured more discrimination in Bolivia's colonial period.
Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said Monday that along with the state, the family also has a responsibility to end violence against women. He proposed more education for society to transform a normalized behavior.
"If today we educate differently, tomorrow we will harvest freed men and women. The task of ending violence is the government's, and we assume it, but it is also a family task,” he said adding that “changing the family is a thousand times more difficult than any revolution.”