Women are the fundamental engine of families and the main factor to overcome the impacts of COVID-19

For more than a decade, Ser Familia has developed successful programs and projects aimed at women, youth and people with disabilities, with special emphasis on female heads of household. Institutionally, it has always sought to strengthen productive capacities, leadership and the exercise of women's rights, proof of this is that 70% of the total interventions are aimed at women.

Currently, Bolivia is going through the second wave of COVID-19 and despite the efforts made, the negative impacts have had a strong impact, especially in households where women for different reasons are forced to take over the total care and maintenance of their families (children-siblings-fathers and mothers), becoming Heads of Household by obligation. According to recent research, this problem has increased by up to 30% of households, due to multiple effects of the Pandemic such as: the death of parents, husbands and other relatives, in addition to cases of abandonment, domestic violence or femicides.

Despite this dark panorama, as always happens in our country, we Bolivians keep alive the hopes of a promising future, even after this enormous crisis. However, it is necessary to highlight and take into account a conclusion of a study recently published by the World Bank (2021) that states: “The global recovery efforts - from education to business activity - must focus especially on the needs of women and girls ”.

From our proven experience, you should consider:

  • A comprehensive model that actively involves human-social development and economic-productive development, considering that both have an impact on making any action aimed at women or other sectors in vulnerable situations sustainable.
  • Make visible and serve the economically marginalized sectors, the majority of which are in the informal sector, with immediate and concrete actions. This means breaking with the traditional models of programs or projects, which only remain in the awareness or information, but go beyond theory, operationalizing policies, plans, programs and projects that generate jobs or sustainable enterprises.
  • Recognize the creative and innovative capacity of women, who only need real opportunities, which allow breaking gender gaps with easy and applicable actions, without so much bureaucracy or just promises, because they generate economy and value in society.
  • Reduce technological gaps, to incorporate the advantages of technology into their daily lives, essentially as a complementary measure that recognizes prior skills and knowledge associating them with new technologies. Stop creating false expectations, such as false discourse, that by learning to knit you will be able to export or sell, when the reality is totally different.
  • Promote knowledge, knowledge and previous experiences, with specific and specific training and technical assistance processes on issues of soft skills, employability and entrepreneurship, which allows strengthening their relationship with themselves, with their family and environment, which achieves sustainability of their employment and / or entrepreneurship to improve their income.

There is much to do, but we are sure that collectively and creatively, moving from discourse to action, we will be able to respond effectively to get out of the crisis together, taking the best of previous experiences and lessons learned.