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Bolivia

Women in the Silver Mines of Potosí: Rethinking the History of ‘Informality’ and ‘Precarity’ (Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)

Citation:

Barragán Romano, Rossana. 2020. “Women in the Silver Mines of Potosí: Rethinking the History of ‘Informality’ and ‘Precarity’ (Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries).” International Review of Social History 65 (2): 289–314. 

Author: Rossana Barragán Romano

Abstract:

Underground mining in Potosí was a male sphere. Nevertheless, women were actively involved in the early stages of silver mining in Potosí, when traditional technologies were still in use. They also played an important role in the local ore market. After the introduction of new technology and the reorganization of the labour force, the process of refining ore was much more complicated. Women then participated in some stages of the process: in selecting the ores and sieving. This implies that mining is a complex process with a labour and gender division that has been underrated and underestimated. More importantly, women became owners of rudimentary mills (trapiches) where the ore was processed, selling different amounts of silver to the Spanish authorities, making their living in this way.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2020

Neo-Extractivism, the Bolivian State, and Indigenous Peasant Women’s Struggles for Water in the Altiplano

Citation:

Rodriguez Fernandez, Gisela V. 2020. “Neo-Extractivism, the Bolivian State, and Indigenous Peasant Women’s Struggles for Water in the Altiplano.” Human Geography 13 (1): 27–39. 

Author: Gisela V. Rodriguez Fernandez

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT: 
Al perseguir el progreso y el crecimiento económico, el estado boliviano liderado por el presidente Evo Morales reprodujo la división colonial del trabajo a través de un modelo de desarrollo conocido como neo-extractivismo. Las tensiones arraigadas entre las comunidades indígenas y el estado surgieron debido al fuerte vínculo económico de este último con el sector extractivista. Si bien la economía política del neo-extractivismose ha estudiado considerablemente, la forma en que tales tensiones afectan las relaciones sociopolíticas en las intersecciones de clase, raza y género no se ha explorado y ni teorizado mucho. Para abordar esta brecha de investigación, este estudio cualitativo planteó las siguientes preguntas de investigación: ¿Cómo crea el neo-extractivismo formas inequitativas de género de acumulación por desposesión? ¿Y qué formas de resistencia surgen para desafiar el impacto del neo-extractivismo entre las comunidades indígenas? Al analizar los procesos de reproducción social en Oruro, Bolivia, este estudio muestra que el neo-extractivismo conduce al despojo de tierras indígenas y formas de vida indígenas principalmente a través de la contaminación del agua. Debido a que las mujeres campesinas indígenas son productoras de subsistencia y reproductoras sociales cuyas actividades se centran en el agua, el despojo del agua tiene un efecto más grave y de género en ellas. Sin embargo, las mujeres indígenas y sus comunidades no están ociosas. Han surgido resistencias contra el neo-extractivismo. Paralelamente, las responsabilidades cotidianas de la reproducción social en el contexto de la agricultura de subsistencia, que están integradas en los epistemas andinos de reciprocidad, han permitido a las mujeres campesinas indígenas construir redes de solidaridad que mantienen vivo el tejido social dentro y entre las comunidades. Estas redes de solidaridad proporcionan importantes recursos sociopolíticos que son sitios de resistencias cotidianas que representan una amenaza continua y una alternativa a los mandatos capitalistas, coloniales y patriarcales.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
In pursuing progress and economic growth, the Bolivian state led by President Evo Morales replicated the colonial division of labor through a development model known as neo-extractivism. Rooted tensions between indigenous communities and the state emerged due to the latter’s zealous economic bond with the extractivist sector. While the political economy of neo-extractivism has been considerably studied, how such tensions affect socio-political relations at the intersections of class, race, and gender remains underexplored and undertheorized. To address this research gap, this qualitative study posed the following research questions: How does neo-extractivism create gendered forms of accumulation by dispossession? And what forms of resistance emerge to challenge the impact of neo-extractivism among indigenous communities? By analyzing processes of social reproduction in Oruro, Bolivia, this study shows that neo-extractivism leads to the dispossession of indigenous lands and indigenous ways of life mainly through the contamination of water. Because indigenous peasant women are subsistence producers and social reproducers whose activities are water centric, the dispossession of water has a direr and gendered effect on them. Indigenous women and their communities, however, are not idle. Resistances against neo-extractivism have emerged. In parallel, the daily responsibilities of social reproduction within the context of subsistence agriculture, which are embedded in Andean epistemes of reciprocity, have allowed indigenous peasant women to build solidarity networks that keep the social fabric within and between communities alive. These solidarity networks provide important socio-political resources that are sites of everyday resistances that represent an ongoing threat and an alternative to capitalist, colonial, and patriarchal mandates.

Keywords: extractivism, Bolivia, indigenous, women, resistance, extractivismo, mujeres indígenas, resistencia

Topics: Development, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2020

Climate Change, Buen Vivir, and the Dialectic of Enlightenment: Toward a Feminist Critical Philosophy of Climate Justice

Citation:

Cochrane, Regina. 2014. “Climate Change, Buen Vivir, and the Dialectic of Enlightenment: Toward a Feminist Critical Philosophy of Climate Justice.” Hypatia 29 (3): 576–98.

Author: Regina Cochrane

Abstract:

This paper examines the proposal that the indigenous cosmovision of buen vivir (good living)—the “organizing principle” of Ecuador's 2008 and Bolivia's 2009 constitutional reforms—constitutes an appropriate basis for responding to climate change. Advocates of this approach blame climate change on a “civilizational crisis” that is fundamentally a crisis of modern Enlightenment reason. Certain Latin American feminists and indigenous women, however, question the implications, for women, of any proposed “civilizational shift” seeking to reverse the human separation from nonhuman nature wrought via Enlightenment's “disenchantment of nature.” The paper argues that, in order to adequately address both the climate crisis and feminist concerns about buen vivir, a different critique of Enlightenment modernity is necessary—one drawing on Adorno's philosophy of negative dialectics and on Adorno and Horkheimer's nonidentitarian dialectical understanding of Enlightenment. Conceiving Enlightenment as composed of nonsublatable moments of domination and liberation, Adorno and Horkheimer call for a rational critique of reason and for affinity rather than identity with nonhuman nature. The paper ends with a brief discussion of how feminist critiques of buen vivir and approaches to climate justice can be furthered via an engagement with an environmental feminist philosophy informed by a negative dialectical approach to Enlightenment.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia, Ecuador

Year: 2014

Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Women's Poverty and Domestic Burdens: A Bolivian Case Study

Citation:

Escalante, Luis, and Hélène Maisonnave. 2020. "Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Women's Poverty and Domestic Burdens: A Bolivian Case Study." Working Paper, Archive Ouverte de la Communauté Scientifique Normande, HAL Normandie Université, Normandy, France.

Authors: Luis Enrique Escalante, Hélène Maisonnave

Abstract:

Climate change affects men and women differently and pre-existing gender disparities may be worsened. In Bolivia, high vulnerability levels and gender disparities exist in terms of education, access to employment, and poverty, making women a highly vulnerable population group. Our analysis uses a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model that explicitly incorporates household production with a gender focus, linked with micro-simulations to assess the effects of climate change on poverty and inequality in Bolivia. Two scenarios are evaluated. The first scenario refers to damages and losses of capital and land in the agricultural and livestock sector due to climatic events, while the second scenario analyses the decrease in agricultural production yields.

The simulations reveal that the climatic scenarios have negative impacts on the Bolivian economy, with the agricultural sector being the most affected. The results also reveal that climate change affects employment negatively in both simulations, and further increases the burden of domestic work, especially for women thus increasing their vulnerability. Furthermore, both simulations reveal negative impacts on poverty and inequality, with women being more affected than men. The results reveal that Bolivian women are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than men.

Keywords: CGE, climate change, 'gender', unpaid work, poverty, Latin America, Bolivia

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Education, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2020

Gender Mainstreaming and Water Development Projects: Analyzing Unexpected Enviro-Social Impacts in Bolivia, India, and Lesotho

Citation:

Cairns, Maryann R., Cassandra L. Workman, and Indrakshi Tandon. 2017. "Gender Mainstreaming and Water Development Projects: Analyzing Unexpected Enviro-Social Impacts in Bolivia, India, and Lesotho." Gender, Place & Culture 24 (3): 325-42.

Authors: Maryann R. Cairns, Cassandra L. Workman, Indrakshi Tandon

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Gender mainstreaming policies and programs, meant to be gender-sensitive or to target gender issues, are increasingly implemented by both governmental and non-governmental actors. However, these projects seem set to continually aim solely at women, despite more than a decade of work encouraging broader scope. Using recent case studies from Bolivia, Lesotho, and India, we address the tensions laden in three major questions about water, gender, and development: (1) Is mandatory inclusion of women in water governance and decision-making effective?, (2) Do water development projects provide equal benefits and burdens for women and men?, and (3) In what ways are water projects and their policies impacting and impacted by gendered enviro-social spaces? By providing triangulated data from ethnographic studies in three distinct local contexts, we are able to pinpoint major cross-cutting themes that serve to highlight and interrogate the gendered impacts of water development projects’ policies: public and private lives, women’s labor expectations, and managing participation. We find that gender mainstreaming endeavors continue to fall short in their aim to equitably include women in their programming and that geographic, environmental, and socio-cultural spaces are intimately related to how these equitability issues play out. We provide practical recommendations on how to address these issues.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Las políticas y programas de transversalización de género, diseñadas para ser sensibles al género o con objetivos en temas relacionados con éste, se implementan cada vez más tanto por actores gubernamentales como no gubernamentales. Sin embargo, estos proyectos parecen programados para apuntar únicamente y en forma continua a las mujeres, a pesar de más de una década de trabajo alentando un abordaje más abarcativo. Utilizando estudios de caso recientes de Bolivia, Lesoto e India, analizamos las tensiones generadas en tres cuestiones principales acerca del agua, el género y el desarrollo: 1) ¿Es efectiva la obligatoriedad de la incorporación de las mujeres en la gobernanza y la toma de decisiones sobre el agua?, 2) ¿Los proyectos de desarrollo hídrico brindan los mismos beneficios y cargas a las mujeres que a los hombres?, y 3) ¿De qué maneras los proyectos de agua y sus políticas están impactando en los espacios socioambientales generizados, y de qué manera están siendo impactados por éstos? Ofreciendo datos triangulados de estudios etnográficos en tres contextos locales distintos, pudimos identificar importantes temas transversales que sirven para destacar e interrogar los impactos generizados de las políticas de los proyectos de desarrollo hídrico: las vidas públicas y privadas, las expectativas laborales de las mujeres y la administración de la participación. Encontramos que los esfuerzos en pos de una transversalización del género continúan teniendo sus límites en su intento por incluir de forma equitativa a las mujeres en su programación y que los espacios geográficos, ambientales y socioculturales están íntimamente relacionados con la forma en que se desarrollan estos temas de equidad. Brindamos recomendaciones prácticas sobre cómo abordar estos problemas.
 
CHINESE ABSTRACT:
理应对性别敏感或聚焦性别议题的性别主流化政策与方案,正逐渐由政府与非政府行动者实行。尽管十多年来不断鼓励扩大性别主流化的工作范畴,但这些方案似乎持续仅针对女性。我们运用玻利维亚,莱索托与印度的晚近案例研究,应对有关水,性别与发展的三大问题中充满的紧张关系:(1)强制将女性纳入水资源管理与决策是否有效?(2)水资源发展计画是否对男性与女性产生相同的效益与负担?以及(3)水资源计画及其政策以什麽方式影响性别化的环境—社会空间并受其影响?透过提供三个特殊地方脉络的民族志研究的三角交叉数据,我们得以精确定位强调并探问水资源发展计画方案的性别化冲击的主要交错议题:公共与私人生活,女性的劳动期待,以及经营参与。我们发现,性别主流化的努力,持续无法达到公平地将女性纳入计画的目标,而地理、环境和社会文化空间,与这些平等议题如何展开紧密相关。我们对如何应对上述问题提出务实的建议。

Keywords: women, water supply, equity and inclusion, NGOs, development, Mujeres, provisión de agua, equidad e inclusión, ONG, desarrollo, 女性, 水资源供给, 平等与包容, 非政府组织, 发展

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bolivia, India, Lesotho

Year: 2017

Acceso de mujeres indígenas a la tierra, el território y los recursos naturales em América Latina y el Caribe

Citation:

Velásquez Nimatuj, Irma A. 2018. Acceso de mujeres indígenas a la tierra, el território y los recursos naturales em América Latina y el Caribe. Guatemala: Oficina Regional de ONU Mujeres para las Américas y el Caribe; La Paz: Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y el Caribe (FILAC).

Author: Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El “Acceso de las mujeres indígenas a la tierra, el territorio y los recursos naturales en América Latina y el Caribe”, elaborado por la Antropóloga Maya K’ichee’, Doctora y Maestra en Antropología Social Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj, ofrece una panorámica regional sobre la temática junto con casos de estudio y recomendaciones clave. Su elaboración se enmarca en el trabajo de colaboración entre la Oficina Regional de ONU Mujeres para las Américas y el Caribe, y el Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y el Caribe (FILAC), para promover el pleno ejercicio de los derechos de las mujeres indígenas.
El documento ofrece, en primer lugar, un análisis sobre los significados que tienen la tierra, el territorio y los recursos naturales para las mujeres indígenas, seguido de una descripción del estado actual y el marco legal internacional y de derechos de las mujeres indígenas. En segundo lugar describe once casos de estudio de acceso a la tierra, territorios y recursos naturales de las mujeres nasa yuwe (páez) de Colombia, las mujeres mapuches de Chile, las mujeres zapatistas de Chiapas, México, las mujeres indígenas de Paraguay, las mujeres maya-q´eqchi´ de Lote Ocho de Guatemala, las mujeres miskitas de la Costa Atlántica de Nicaragua, las mujeres térraba (teribe o broran) de Costa Rica, el proyecto “mujeres indígenas y gobernanza de la tierra” de ONAMIAP de Perú, las mujeres gunas o kuna de Panamá, las mujeres guaraníes del Chaco boliviano, y las mujeres garífunas de la Costa Caribeña de Honduras. Seguidamente ofrece una descripción sobre los retos que enfrentan las mujeres indígenas para gozar de sus derechos de acceso a la tierra, territorios y recursos naturales, así como una serie de buenas prácticas y recomendaciones. 

Topics: Gender, Women, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America Countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru

Year: 2018

Derechos territoriales de mujeres y revalorización de sistemas alimentarios indígenas y agroecológicos del Chaco Cruceño en Bolivia

Citation:

Llanque, Aymara, y Freddy Delgado. 2018. “Derechos territoriales de mujeres y revalorización de sistemas alimentarios indígenas y agroecológicos del Chaco Cruceño en Bolivia.” Cadernos de Agroecologia 13 (1).

Authors: Aymara Llanque, Freddy Delgado

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El empuje al agro negocio en Bolivia durante la última década está presionando las formas tradicionales de producción y consumo de alimentos, manejadas principalmente por mujeres campesinas e indígenas. El artículo se enfoca en las múltiples actividades desarrolladas por mujeres de tres comunidades en el Municipio de Cabezas, para analizar configuraciones institucionales que posibilitan la tenencia territorial y los desafíos en sustentabilidad alimentaria, frente a las presiones del sistema alimentario agroindustrial, en el Chaco cruceño de Bolivia, una región caracterizada por su alta vulnerabilidad climática. Entre los años 2015 y 2016 se aplicaron 16 entrevistas con enfoque transdisciplinar, para aproximarnos a las dinámicas territoriales. Los Resultados muestran que los derechos territoriales de las mujeres dependen sobre todo del reconocimiento social y de los mecanismos consuetudinarios construidos en sus comunidades; a pesar de la persistencia de inseguridad jurídica, las mujeres ejercen sus derechos territoriales con la diversidad de actividades desarrolladas por mujeres campesinas e indígenas hacia la economía del cuidado. Este estudio da indicios sobre las dinámicas pro- positivas de las mujeres, como respuestas a las crisis económicas, ambientales, socioculturales que se desarrollan ampliamente en sus territorios.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The push to agro-business in Bolivia over the last decade is pressing traditional forms of food production and consumption, mainly managed by peasant and indigenous women. The article focuses on the multiple activities carried out by women from tree rural communities in Cabezas Municipality, to analyze institutional configurations that make possible territorial tenure and challenges in food sustainability, as opposed to the pressures of the food system Agro industrial, in the Chaco cruceño of Bolivia, a region characterized by its high climatic vulnerability. Between 2015 and 2016, we applied 16 interviews with a trans-disciplinary focus, in order to approach the territorial dynamics. The results show that the territorial rights of women depend mainly on social recognition and customary mechanisms built in their communities; despite the persistence of legal uncertainty, women apply their territorial rights with the diversity of activities developed by peasant and indigenous women towards the economy of care. This study provides clues about the women’s purposefully dynamics, as responses to economic, environmental, socio-cultural crises that are widely developed with agribusiness. 
 

Keywords: Mujeres, tenencia, diversificación, sistemas alimentarios, women, tenure, diversification, foodsystems

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Land Tenure, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2018

Between Pachamama and Mother Earth: Gender, Political Ontology and the Rights of Nature in Contemporary Bolivia

Citation:

Tola, Miriam. 2018. "Between Pachamama and Mother Earth: Gender, Political Ontology and the Rights of Nature in Contemporary Bolivia." Feminist Review 118 (1): 25-40.

Author: Miriam Tola

Abstract:

Focusing on contemporary Bolivia, this article examines promises and pitfalls of political and legal initiatives that have turned Pachamama into a subject of rights. The conferral of rights on the indigenous earth being had the potential to unsettle the Western ontological distinction between active human subjects who engage in politics and passive natural resources. This essay, however, highlights some paradoxical effects of the rights of nature in Bolivia, where Evo Morales’ model of development relies on the intensification of the export-oriented extractive economy. Through the analysis of a range of texts, including paintings, legal documents, political speeches and activist interventions, I consider the equivocation between the normatively gendered Mother Earth that the state recognises as the subject of rights, and the figure of Pachamama evoked by feminist and indigenous activists. Pachamama, I suggest, has been incorporated into the Bolivian state as a being whose generative capacities have been translated into a rigid gender binary. As a gendered subject of rights, Pachamama/Mother Earth is exposed to governmental strategies that ultimately increase its subordination to state power. The concluding remarks foreground the import of feminist perspectives in yielding insights concerning political ontological conflicts.

Keywords: rights of nature, Pachamama, extractivism, decolonial feminism, indigenous political ontology, Bolivia

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2018

Land Tenure and Forest Rights of Rural and Indigenous Women in Latin America: Empirical Evidence

Citation:

Bose, Purabi. 2017. "Land Tenure and Forest Rights of Rural and Indigenous Women in Latin America: Empirical Evidence." Women's Studies International Forum 65: 1-8.

Author: Purabi Bose

Abstract:

Latin America's land-use and communal forests needs a better understanding through a lens of women. This research article aims to examine Latin America's secured individual land tenure legal reforms and communal rights in indigenous territories. Two empirical case studies are presented to assess the current dynamics of rural women's land title rights in coffee agroforestry under Colombia's new Formalización Propiedad Rural program, and indigenous Quechua women's communal forest land rights for indigenous foods like kañawa and quinoa farming in highland Bolivia. In doing so, it also gives an introduction to the five empirical research papers that are part of this Special Section edited by the author. The specific case studies are from the Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia's Gran Chaco area, Nicaragua's indigenous territories and two studies from Mexico – one from Oaxaca's central valley and the other is based on smallholder farming in Calakmul rural area. In conclusion, the author discusses the need to prioritise women's role in individual land rights and communal forest tenure in Latin American countries. 

Keywords: Latin America, communal forests, indigenous peoples, women, land tenure, food security, joint titling, Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Nicaragua

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Indigenous, Land Tenure, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights, Food Security Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia, Colombia

Year: 2017

Women, Men, and the Legal Languages of Mining in the Colonial Andes

Citation:

Bigelow, Allison Margaret. 2016. “Women, Men, and the Legal Languages of Mining in the Colonial Andes.” Ethnohistory 63 (2): 351–80. 

Author: Allison Margaret Bigelow

Abstract:

Histories of colonial Latin American mining have cemented the image of a scientifically backward society whose pursuit of easy wealth sacrificed the lives of indigenous and African miners in places like Potosí. By examining a mid-seventeenth-century mine dispute between an Andean woman and a Spanish man, this article suggests how legal archives can reveal indigenous women’s contributions to the history of colonial silver. It also provides an appendix with one hundred cases of indigenous, creole, and Spanish women miners, refiners, and managers in Alto Perú, 1559–1801, suggesting how women of different socioeconomic and technical backgrounds participated in the silver industry.

Keywords: colonial science, technical literacies, law, gender, Andes

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia, Peru

Year: 2016

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