Evo Morales Enacts New Bolivian Constitution, Appoints Women to Half of Cabinet Seats

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After easily winning reelection in Dec. 2009, Bolivian president Evo Morales was sworn in to serve his second term over the weekend. With the mandate Morales received from the overwhelming majority of Bolivian voters who gave him a new five-year term, Morales immediately implemented big changes.

The first was to enact a new Bolivian constitution that contains sweeping reforms which will drastically upgrade the social and political rights of the indigenous population of the country. Morales proclaimed Jan. 22 as the date for the “re-foundation” of Bolivia, and said the day marks the end of the colonial state and its replacement by a “pluri-national” state which guarantees equality and justice for all and “respects private property.”

On Saturday, Morales also swore in a new cabinet of 20 ministers and half of his appointees were women—a first for the hyper-macho Andean state. Speaking at a ceremony at the Quemado presidential palace, Morales said, "My great dream has been fulfilled, half of my cabinet are women, the other half men."

The only other Latin American leader to split their cabinet among the sexes is Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, who divided her cabinet of 26 ministers equally after her 2006 election.

Female members of the Bolivian cabinet now include: Labor Minister Carmen Trujillo, Justice Minister Nilda Copa, Transparency and Anti-Corruption Minister Nardy Suxo, and folk singer and activist Zulma Yugar as minister of culture.

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Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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