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#WomenStories| Cheated on, abused, raped or killed

Life in a place where violence against women is still rampant

Story published on

February 23, 2020

#WOMENSTORIESThere’s a place in this world where being a woman is even harder than in other places. A place where, if you have a coffee with 2 of your girlfriends, it is likely that one of you already has or will suffer physical and/or sexual violence. And that violence will come from an intimate partner.

In such a place, women are killed at alarming rates just because they are women. Last year, in fact, the femicide rate reached a new, heart-breaking, high.

The place is Peru.

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Women in Peru

168 women were victims of femicide in 2019 alone – a high since record-keeping began, a decade ago

More than 12.000 cases of rape have been reported here in 2018 (Ni Una Menos Organization/EFE)

60% of the aggressors were family members

1 in 3 Peruvian women are likely to suffer physical and/or sexual violence from their partner in their lifetime (UN WOMEN)

In Cusco, more than 60% of women have experience and reported physical violence by a partner (World Health Organization)

It’s not that this is the worst it can get. Sadly, that’s not the case. You look around your region and things are sometimes even more dire.

But this place, Peru, with all its misticism and sense of tradition, of bond with nature, is striking in its violence against women. 

And there’s something else that comes out of a deep-rooted machismo: a culture of infidelity. That, I’ve learned, is a big thing here. You meet someone and you know from the onset that, at some point, that person will be unfaithful to you – that’s how Angelica put it.

And since I brought up Angelica, it’s time for you to meet her, because she gives voice to some of the struggles women in Peru have to deal with: from femicide, to widespread physical and emotional violence, to discrimination, to the struggle for reproductive rights (abortion is illegal in Peru and contraception, though now provided by the state, has long been a political battle). She talks about machismo and infidelity, but also about her plans and dreams, her new business venture in the form of a small hostel in Cusco. Even when talking about her own experiences, Angelica paints a much larger picture about #WomenStories in Peru.

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