Bolivia: Productive patrimonial assets building and citizenship programme for women in extreme poverty in Bolivia

Bolivia still has high levels of poverty and social inequality, especially in rural areas and among indigenous women, who suffer from isolation and marginalization and a lack of services and job opportunities. This Joint Programme focused on indigenous peasant women living in extreme poverty, helping them to generate sustainable livelihoods and enabling them to fully exercise their citizenship. 

The main objectives of the programme were:

  1. Ensure women’s right to own and inherit property, and guarantee secure tenure of their property and housing;
  2. Ensure women's equality in access to assets and productive resources, credit and technology;
  3. Reduce the number of women in extreme poverty.

The programme was structured around three pillars:

  1. Generation of patrimonial assets for women: This was achieved through a non-reimbursable direct monetary transfer component that provided seed capital, start up grants, joint venture and risk capital. These actions were complemented by building women’s capacities to manage their business and link to markets. 
  2. The exercise of citizenship (developed through women’s civic education, rural communities, state and non-state local authorities) and the provision of identification documents to women. Civic education was closely associated with education for employability, and the development of women's capacities for problem-solving, self-empowerment and skills to move confidently in the labour market.
  3. An institutional environment was created by: informing and empowering both central and decentralized government and private institutions; sharing with them the achievements of specific programme outcomes; assisting women entrepreneurs in developing work plans that foster economic initiatives; contracting women's services; and supporting them in the implementation process.

Main achievements included:

  • 5,090 women acquired new patrimonial assets or increased existing assets by an average of 50 % through the provision of financial services and technical assistance to 2,786 enterprises.
  • 4,327 women were able to fully exercise their rights and to have proper legal identity documents to access services that they could not access before.
  • 241 officers from 18 municipalities received training on the contents of the Plan de Igualdad de Oportunidades (Equal Opportunities Plan), as well as on the review and proposals for change in 18 municipal development plans.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Bolivia (in Spanish).

The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 21 Nov 2008 - 24 May 2012
Net funded amount $9,000,000
Participating UN agencies FAO, UNDP, UNIDO, UNWOMEN
National partners Ministerio de Justicia – Viceministerio de Igualdad de Oportunidades; Autoridades Locales y departamentales (18 Alcaldías y 4 Prefecturas)
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