Womens’ organisations in Peru monitoring the new government
Last week Womankind’s partner in Peru, DEMUS, together with other organisations from the Peruvian feminist movement, expressed their concern to the government about the recently approved law regulating the functions and structure of the Peruvian Ministry of Women’s Affairs (Ley de Organisacion y Funciones, LOF).
Demus and other feminist organisations fear that this law, which was passed on 22nd of January 2012, fails to recognise and strengthen the Ministry of Women as the main body leading on legislative and policy issues concerning violence against women and equal opportunities.
The law changed the name of the institution to the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, creating an overlap with the functions of the Ministry for Social Inclusion and risking a weakening of its focus on women’s rights.
DEMUS highlighted how the changes within this law seem to distance Ollanta Humala’s new government (elected in June 2011) from their commitment to advance the implementation of the Law on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men (Ley 28983). DEMUS argue that it fails to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Women to implement gender equality policies, and address the high levels of violence against women in the country.
Despite the commitment of Humala’s administration to improve the political and legislative framework in favour of women’s rights, at the beginning of 2012 many challenges still affect the life of women in the country. Although positive steps were registered in the last month of 2011 (such as the government re-opening of the investigation into forced sterilisation of indigenous and rural women in Peru during the 80’s), DEMUS believes that progress still need to be achieved on the state decriminalisation of abortion in cases of rape, and the revision of the truth, justice and reparations laws to defend the rights of Peruvian women affected by political and sexual violence during the internal armed conflict.
The new government was elected on a socially progressive agenda and DEMUS, as well as other women’s rights organisations in the country, believe there are opportunities to secure important changes and advance women’s rights. However, on-going monitoring of the new administration’s work and constant lobbying of politicians will be key for women organisations in Peru to secure their government’s commitment on women’s rights.
All of Womankind’s partners in Peru – DEMUS, FEPROMU and Movimiento El Pozo – are working with local, regional and national decision makers to advocate for improved policies and services on violence against women and women’s access to justice and health.