Archive for the images Category

27 de Marzo: Puntos de Reflexión

Posted in Bolivia, images with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2010 by eugeniadealtura

This week, I’d like to offer a number of simple facts about Bolivia that impact women’s lives, along with some images of La Paz and El Alto.  I hope that these will serve to raise awareness about the country and about some of the issues it faces, and perhaps spark comparative reflection about the countries where you all live and work.  As always, I welcome your comments and questions.  Please contact me for citation information for the facts presented below.

City scene in La Paz, Bolivia.

Bolivia’s maternal mortality rate of 222 women per 100,000 is the second highest in Latin America (after Haiti).

About 30% of maternal deaths in the country are due to complications from abortion.

6 of 10 Bolivian women will have at least one abortion in her lifetime.  (The rate for women in the United States is 1 in 3.)

Graffiti penned by Bolivian youth from El Alto, reading, “You decide – Don’t let yourself get carried away,” with drawing of condom.

69% of Bolivian women lack access to reliable contraceptive methods.

In 2008, 1 in 4 of women giving birth at one of the largest public women’s hospitals in La Paz were teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19.

The same hospital saw 1,122 cases of incomplete abortion and “miscarriage” in 2009—over 3 per day.  Doctors insist that the majority of these cases correspond to incomplete provoked abortions.

Some women facing unwanted pregnancy end up abandoning their children rather than seeking an abortion during pregnancy.  The above image is a “foundling wheel” embedded in the wall of a La Paz-based orphanage, where desperate parents can place an infant and then spin the wheel to safely deposit it inside the home without revealing their identities.

Abortion in Bolivia has been legal since 1973 in cases of rape or to save the mother’s life, yet only five legal abortions have ever been performed.  In most cases, women and adolescent girls deliver their babies before the bureaucratic processes required to obtain a legal abortion come through.

7 of every 10 Bolivian women suffer physical violence three to five times per year; 6 of these 7 are victimized by a member of their own family.  About 53% of women do not report these crimes.

143 girls and women were murdered in Bolivia during 2009.  98 of these murders can be considered feminicides–murders of females for the simple fact that they are female.

International Women’s Day protesters in La Paz carry a banner reading, “A dignified life without violence.”  The woman in front and to the left of those holding the banner carries a paper sign reading, “Enough with corrupt attorneys and  judges!”  Many feminist activists in Bolivia contend that legal representatives in the country accept bribes from men who have murdered women in exchange for lenient prison sentences.


10 de Marzo: Imágenes de Protesta

Posted in Bolivia, images, International Women's Day with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by eugeniadealtura

Below are several images of an International Women’s Day protest that took place last Monday in La Paz, Bolivia.  The central idea behind the protest was to insist that women want justice for female victims of violence and feminicide, not flowers, on their “special day.”  The family members of five recent victims of feminicide (murders of women for the simple fact that they are women) were present at the march.

Come back and visit the site this weekend to learn more about the International Women’s Day events that took place this year in Bolivia.

13 de Diciembre: Imágenes inolvidables

Posted in Bolivia, images with tags , , , , , on December 13, 2009 by eugeniadealtura

For the next few weeks, I will be struggling to finish some end-of-the-year work and may not be posting regularly to the blog.  In lieu of commentary on gender in Bolivia, I’d like to offer some images from La Paz and El Alto to stimulate reflection on women, gender, and sexuality in the region.  I welcome your comments and questions.  Felices fiestas y próspero año nuevo a todas y a todos.

“The frigid woman does not exist.  It is all a question of ‘bad tongues.'” (“Malas lenguas” is a way to refer to people who gossip.  And yet there seems to be a pun here…)

“To prevent is a pleasure.” This little guy–actually about 30ft. tall–attends a busy public feria on La Paz’s “Prado” every Sunday between about June and September, during the city’s dry months.  In a country where timidez and conservative cultural mores can make it difficult for couples to discuss birth control and STI prevention, an unmissable condom may get the conversation going.

“Deposit discrimination here.” And below, “Know how to value–We women can do it.” Somewhat puzzling…  At the local zoo, a garbage can takes a stand for women’s rights.

Roughly, “start kissing,” or “get to kissing.” It is not surprising that the couple is seated on what appears to be a public bench.  Since many people in Bolivia continue to live with their parents into their 20s and 30s, couples often take to the public parks and plazas to make out.

“The right to abortion–legal, freely, and without cost.  Bread and Roses.” For more information, visit: