Marginalized Bolivian Women Build Capacities for Change

By Zsófia Sztranyiczki, USA and Calixta Choque Churata, Bolivia

Thanks to the generous support of IWC members and friends, our 2019 Faithify crowdfunding campaign  Empower Marginalized Bolivian Women to Create Change  aiming to expand a leadership development program in Bolivia was met with success, surpassing our goal of $5,000.

IWC’s project kicked off on February 10, 2020, with bi-weekly training courses in in hairdressing, sewing, and healthy food habits, complemented with leadership and prevention of violence trainings.

In due time, entrepreneurial/business skills and environmental education will be added to the program elements.

 

Project leader Calixta Choque Churata observes:

It is a great satisfaction for me to watch women and girls – mostly homemakers and students – gather with enthusiasm, build their capacities, and acquire the tools and knowledge they need to make a difference in their lives.

The job market is more and more demanding every day: it requires constant training.  When women and girls are trained, they can find a job and even create their own small family-run businesses, succeeding in obtaining an income for their families.

At the same time, program beneficiaries strengthen their abilities and forge their personalities and self-esteem.

Training these women is also fundamental in confronting “macho” violence, predominant in this sector of the population, nationwide.  Violence against women is fueled when there’s economic dependency involved. In Bolivia, 7 out of 10 women suffer some form of physical assault, almost always committed by their intimate partner.

For now, the program has been halted. National quarantine measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 are in place through June 30, 2020, which include the suspension of public events and gatherings.

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