Karen Cohen

Karen Gil (2016) is a Bolivian journalist and doumentarian. Karen is one of several candidates proposed to us by the European Journalism Centre and its Bolivian counterpart, the Fundacion para el Periodismo, which conducted a national campaign for qualified Bolivian applicants at our request.

Karen studied Social Communication Sciences at the Universidad mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication at the University Andina Simon Bolívar in La Paz, Bolivia. She has worked at a number of publications, including La Prensa, Página Siete, Nueva Crónica and Herencia. She is currently a freelance journalist who focuses on the coverage of women’s rights, indigenous rights and human rights. She collaborates on Página Siete, Fides News Agency, Buena Fuente magazine, Aquí and la Pùblica.

Karen is writing a book entitled: “I AM NOT A HOUSEWIFE (or maybe yes, but I have other dreams),” an account of five Bolivian women. She describes them as “a young Indian mother who migrates from the countryside to the city of La Paz seeking employment in a country where decent work is not for everybody; an actress who undresses in independent films in a conservative country; a young woman who, after leaving prison, is looking to reintegrate into a society that is afraid and does not stop stigmatizing; a woman of 80 years who is trained in swimming in a country where older people are less valuable than the dead; and finally, a transgender woman looking for a decent life in a country that not only looks askance but with contempt.”

According to Karen, laws protecting the rights of women have been created in Bolivia in recent years, but the reality is different: 81 percent of women have experienced some form of violence in their lives; around 100 are killed annually. The unemployment rate is higher for women. Teenage and young adult women have fewer educational opportunities. “With all this, women bear the prejudices and inequalities, but nevertheless do not give up, on the contrary, struggle every day to realize their dreams and a better life,” said Gil.