Photo credit: Coordinadora de la Mujer
On the eve of International Women's Day (March 8) and that same day, organizations and institutions that work for women's rights throughout the country added their voices to demand enough public budgets against women violence and efficiency in their execution to the national and subnational authorities. Recent data show the urgency of facing this scourge, which at the national level ends with the life of a woman every three days.
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At the voice of "Budgets against violence, now!", organizations affiliated with the Women's Coordinator throughout the country, with the support of International IDEA, the Embassy of Sweden and Diakonía, staged different demonstrations to denounce that in Bolivia every day,13 women of all ages are victims of sexual crimes, even if in the Integral Law No. 348 women´s life free of violence is guarantee. In sum, these (4,708 cases) represent the crimes with the highest percentages (15 per cent) out of a total of 30,351 complaints, according to data from the Public Ministry of the 2017 administration.
According to this same source, in 2017, there were 30 femicides in Cochabamba; 27 in La Paz, 16 in Santa Cruz, 10 in Chuquisaca, nine in Tarija and seven in Oruro. Beni and Potosí registered five cases and in Pando, none.
Despite these dramatic figures, the public resources allocated from subnational governments to gender equality and the fight against violence against women do not exceed 1.2 per cent—in the best of cases—of their total annual budgets. On the other hand, budget execution, on average, is very low.
It should be remembered that Supreme Decree 2145 (October 2014), which regulates Law No. 348, allocates 30 per cent (first fiscal year) and 10 per cent (from the second) of the Citizen Security resources of the Departmental Autonomous Governments for the construction and equipping of shelters and temporary shelters for women in situations of violence and for the Autonomous Municipal Governments a percentage of between 25 per cent and 30 per cent is established to finance infrastructure, equipment, maintenance and attention of the Integral Legal Services Municipalities (SLIM) for the attention of violence against women.
"We have taken significant steps in terms of regulations against violence, but these advances must be accompanied by policies that have sufficient and efficient budgets to ensure that, effectively, women have a life free of violence," agreed the spokespersons of different organizations.