Promoting gender equality in Bolivia
Context and initiative
The Bolivian Constitution of 2009, grants equality to Bolivian women and men, prohibits and punishes all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex, colour, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, among others. Law 045 against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination in public institutions and companies of October 2010, introduced the category of discriminatory conduct as misconduct against the public service to be treated by administrative or disciplinary means (Art. 14). Law 807 on Gender Identity of 21 May 2016 established a procedure for changing the sex, image and identity of transsexual and transgender persons, within the framework of the self-perception of their gender identity. However, despite the advances made by the Bolivian State in terms of legislation, constitution, ratification and accession to international instruments that recognise the rights of sexual diversity, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people continue to be discriminated against and excluded, especially in the area of sexual and labour rights.
Against this background the Vice Presidency of the Plurinational State of Bolivia together with the GIZ and the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Capacitación y Derechos Ciudadanos (CDC) jointly embarked on the implementation of the project “LGBTI-friendly companies”.
Gender – a quality feature of our work
Between November 2018 and May 2019, a representative survey yielded relevant information for a well targeted awareness and training processes on the labour and social rights of the LGBTI population, Law 045 against racism and all forms of discrimination, and Law 807 on gender identity. In addition, two standards for accrediting or recognizing companies as LGBTI-friendly spaces: one applicable to the factual reality of the companies and the other with a higher level of eligibility, related to the regulatory norms where there is specific content prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation and the adjacent benefits for the families and partners of LGBTI people. In a first round of evaluations seven companies have been recognized and publicly awarded for being LGBTI-friendly.
During the implementation of the project, there was empowerment of the actors themselves, in this case the LGTBI population that gave legitimacy to the whole process. Likewise, there was a positive attitude and concrete actions from the organizations of private entrepreneurs and the companies themselves, by incorporating activities of this project in their work plans and new companies asking for their internal regulations to be revised in order to introduce non-discrimination standards. It is also worth mentioning that the Ministry of Labour expressed its interest in implementing employment policies favourable to the LGTBI population, specifically through the “Youth Employment” project that is currently in force supported by the International Cooperation. The greatest desire, however, is that the information and results generated and handed over to the Ministries of Justice and Labour will lead to the generation of inclusive regulations under the Bolivian Labour Law.