Gender in Bolivia 2002

International Development Resources Working Paper No. 02-BVVS4

Posted: 30 Oct 2002

Date Written: October 2002


This working paper is a comprehensive review of the human right situation in Bolivia today and provides data and viewpoints from fields of law, anthropology, economics, politcal science, public health, culture, race, and development. Personal and institutional antagonisms prohibit the construction of an integrated approach to gender and ethnicity, the prevalence of agendas and skewed relationships that underlie international development politics and NGO programs, legacies, disparities, and pressures arising from neoliberal state transformation, are some factors impacting gender, ethnicity and class Bolivia. The paper argues that the problem of illicit drug crops and trafficking is poverty not any sinister qualities of the indigenous coca farmers. The education and economic development of Bolivia needs investment. In designing alternative development programs and other viable solutions to the extreme poverty in Bolivia, it is necessary to empower the population - women, men and children - white, Andean, mestizo and allow all of its members to be involved in the political process, rather then merely existing at the receiving end of a foreign policy which clearly alienates them, and forces reliance on protest coalitions instead of governmental representatives to protect their legal rights. Women in Bolivia, and their coca grower families, either in prison, or on their way, are fighting against becoming an underclass of modern society. Unable to be instantly reinserted in the formal labor markets of advanced capitalism, many survive by the trade they know and by protest. This determination and human spirit proves that if the outcome for the post-neoliberal Bolivian poor is not a totally grim and foregone conclusion, if the powers that be are astute enough to deliver something of substance from democracy.

Keywords: Gender, Ethnicity, Human Rights, the Drug War, indigenous rights, Race, National Identity, Culture, Neoliberalism, gender and development, ICT for development, femenismo, andinismo, marxismo, katarismo, neoliberalismo, transversalization, narcotrafficking, participation, democracy, international dev

JEL Classification: K33, K40, K42, K49, N960, I18, F42

Suggested Citation

von Struensee, Susan Vanessa, Gender in Bolivia 2002 (October 2002). International Development Resources Working Paper No. 02-BVVS4. Available at SSRN:

Susan Vanessa Von Struensee (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

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