BOLIVIA / INDIGENOUS WOMEN

09-Aug-2017 00:02:46
Bolivia, and especially the capital city of La Paz, is undergoing a "building boom." And with an increased demand for labour, many of the workers new to the construction industry are women, especially indigenous women from Bolivia's countryside. ILO
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STORY: ILO / INDIGENOUS WOMEN
TRT: 02:46
SOURCE: ILO
LANGUAGE: SPANISH / NATS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE

DATELINE: JULY 2017, LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, aerial view of La Paz
2. Various shots, indigenous women construction workers paint rooftop
3. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Anelise Melendez, Habitat Net:
“Obviously for women who come from a rural area to live in a city, discrimination becomes more complex. It is not only because she is a woman, but also because she is indigenous and because of her level of education.”
4. Various shots, indigenous women construction workers
5. Close up, Natividad Velasco painting interior wall
6. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Natividad Velasco, Construction Worker:
“Safety is very important at work. There used to be a lot of accidents. Now that we have had the safety courses we know what safety is and we take care of each other.”
7. Close up, Natividad Velasco’s hand dipping paint roller in paint
8. Med shot, María del Carmen Cáceres, General Secretary, Association of Women Constructors Bolivia (ASOMUC)
9. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) María del Carmen Cáceres, General Secretary, Association of Women Constructors Bolivia (ASOMUC):
“Ten years ago, you would rarely see a woman in construction work, maybe one or two compared to the number now - there are more.”
10. Close up, indigenous woman construction worker at work
11. Med shot, María del Carmen Cáceres speaks to people on the street
12. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Sergio Siles, Autonomous Municipal Government of La Paz:
“We are happy to see that more women are involved in these associations, and it is evolving in a favourable way. Their voice is being listened to and included in different policies, programs and projects not only on a national level but especially the local level.”
13. Various shots, skills training workshop for indigenous women construction workers
14. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Rodrigo Mogrovejo, National Coordinator, ILO Bolivia:
“Why do women move into this labour market? Because incomes are better than in other sectors in Bolivia. We are on that path, we hope to achieve this in the short term, and there is the will among all the actors involved so I think we are moving in the right direction.”
15. Close up, Natividad Velasco paints interior wall
16 Med shot, two indigenous women construction workers at work on rooftop
17. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Natividad Velasco, Construction Worker:
“I want to tell my partners who are women and have suffered like me, when they still feel that discrimination, I want them to keep going and I don’t want them to fade. They have to get ahead. They have to be a rock that cannot be bent.”
18. Wide shot, indigenous woman in traditional dress on city streets
STORYLINE
Bolivia, and especially the capital city of La Paz, is undergoing a "building boom." And with an increased demand for labour, many of the workers new to the construction industry are women, especially indigenous women from Bolivia's countryside.

These women arrive in La Paz with a desire to work, but with limited knowledge of their rights, they are vulnerable to abuse and discrimination.

Anelise Melendez works for a local organization helping indigenous women in the construction sector.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Anelise Melendez, Habitat Net:
“Obviously for women who come from a rural area to live in a city, discrimination becomes more complex. It is not only because she is a woman, but also because she is indigenous and because of her level of education.”

In Bolivia, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) works with trade unions, local government and employers to increase awareness about the rights for indigenous women and also provide training in occupational safety on the construction site. Natividad Velasco is one of the indigenous women who received the training.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Natividad Velasco, Construction Worker:
“Safety is very important at work. There used to be a lot of accidents. Now that we have had the safety courses we know what safety is and we take care of each other.”

Perceptions are beginning to change. There is a trade union specifically for women who work in Bolivia's construction sector.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) María del Carmen Cáceres, General Secretary, Association of Women Constructors Bolivia (ASOMUC):
“Ten years ago, you would rarely see a woman in construction work, maybe one or two compared to the number now - there are more.”

The trade union has energized local government and employers to help ensure indigenous women have a voice in policies that affect them.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Sergio Siles, Autonomous Municipal Government of La Paz:
“We are happy to see that more women are involved in these associations, and it is evolving in a favourable way. Their voice is being listened to and included in different policies, programs and projects not only on a national level but especially the local level.”

The ILO also provides business and entrepreneurship skills training for indigenous women. A "virtual platform" of women construction workers in Bolivia who have been trained and certified by training centres helps them enter the job market.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Rodrigo Mogrovejo, National Coordinator, ILO Bolivia:
“Why do women move into this labour market? Because incomes are better than in other sectors in Bolivia. We are on that path, we hope to achieve this in the short term, and there is the will among all the actors involved so I think we are moving in the right direction.”

Indigenous women like Natividad still face many challenges. But providing skills and making them more aware of their rights helps ensure they won't be left behind in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In Bolivia, indigenous women, increasingly, have a voice. Empowering them is making a difference in their lives.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Natividad Velasco, Construction Worker:
“I want to tell my partners who are women and have suffered like me, when they still feel that discrimination, I want them to keep going and I don’t want them to fade. They have to get ahead. They have to be a rock that cannot be bent.”

Indigenous peoples are five per cent of the world's population but 15 per cent of the world's poor. As a result of exclusion and discrimination, indigenous women are often the poorest of the poor.

August 9 is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and this year marks the tenth anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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