A combination of machismo attitudes and religious conservatism means gender inequality is rife in Peru. Women regularly experience abuse and discrimination in their homes, the workplace and in politics.
Many Peruvian women suffered sexual violence during an internal conflict lasting 20 years (1980-2000). During the conflict, the Peruvian government forcibly sterilised over 2,000 women. Despite an agreement being reached in 2003 to secure justice and reparation for these women, the government has failed to implement this.
Today many younger women work in the agricultural export industry and face new challenges. They work in poor and dangerous conditions and experience sexual harassment on a daily basis.
Women’s Rights in Peru
- 31% of women have experienced physical violence from a husband or partner (Source: UN Women 2011-12)
- 28% of seats in parliament are represented by women (Source: UN Women 2011-12)
- 35% of full time workers are women (Source: International Finance Corporation and The World Bank 2010)
Supporting Women in Peru
We are working with two women’s rights organisations, DEMUS and FEPROMU:
Making a difference
Our work with our partners has:
- Provided access to justice for women survivors of violence and increased public awareness on issues such as reparation and sexual exploitation of women during the war
- Ensured women who experienced sexual violence in the internal conflict receive compensation from the government
- Supported two female community networks in Huancavelica, the poorest region of Peru, to monitor government policies and programmes to tackle violence against women
- Successfully secured the adoption of a regional policy on HIV, raising awareness of sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents in the Ica region
“I had never entered a police station before because I was afraid to do so. Thanks to DEMUS I have learned that public institutions are there to serve and support us and should provide a good service. Now we watch these institutions to ensure they treat women well and that they take interest in them.” – Luz, participant