Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Public Affairs/International Relations

First Advisor

Luis F. Jimenez

Second Advisor

Leila Farsakh

Third Advisor

Steve Striffler


Femicide, or the killing of women for being women, is a major issue in Bolivia. According to development feminists, femicide is combatted through representation of women in politics. The situation in Bolivia is not what we should expect given that Bolivia has one of the highest rates of representation by women in the world. Bolivia also has a left indigenous state that has made rhetorical and judicial commitments to protecting women from harm. Yet, femicide is on the rise in Bolivia. Why? In this thesis I argue that it is the structure of the state itself that is the problem. First there is a policy-praxis gap that undermines human security for women. Additionally, instead of a socialist departure, President Evo Morales’ has maintained a framework of continuity through his reliance on neoliberal policies, such as mass extractivism. This combination of failings results in a condition of structural and symbolic violence that enshrines women in an apparatus of harm. Lastly, I argue that we can only understand femicide and violence against women in Bolivia if we theorize the state through a decolonial Marxist feminist perspective.


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