Peru: Urgent Action Needed to Stop Violence and Discrimination Against Women

Women and girls in Peru continue to suffer widespread gender discrimination and violence, according to the U.N. Human Rights Council Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice (Working Group). The Working Group called on Peru to take “urgent action” to address the high rate of violence against women in the country, where nearly 40% of women report suffering physical or sexual violence. The experts said existing government efforts to combat violence were fragmented and failed to protect women or hold perpetrators accountable.

In a statement released following their September country visit to Peru, the Working Group also highlighted the downsides of rapid economic development, which has failed to improve the lives of most Peruvian women. Of particular concern, sexual violence and trafficking in indigenous women and girls has increased in areas of Peru impacted by the expansion of extractive mining industries. Indigenous women suffer further violence and deprivation when they are forced to leave their lands and cultrual heritage to find refuge in Peru’s larger cities.

During their nine-day mission to Peru, the Working Group met with Government officials, local representatives and civil society, identifying priority areas of concern related to discrimination against Peruvian women and girls, including: violence against women; reproductive health; a high rate of teenage pregnancy; women’s low economic status; lack of access to justice including for crimes committed against women during the1980-2000 civil conflict; and lack of female participation in politics.  The Working Group will present its final report and recommendations to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2015.

 

Compiled from: UN Concerned Over Violence Against Women in PeruTelesur, (September 20, 2014); UN experts urge Peru to step up efforts to tackle discrimination against women, U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (September 19, 2014).