Working Toward Gender Equality in Peru


The Peruvian government wants to tackle women's inequality, since a new study shows Peru falling behind on opportunities for women.

How does Peru fare in terms of women’s equality? According to one study, the country has a ways to go. Released on October 24, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2012, Peru ranked at spot 78 globally. Despite a higher rating than Chile and Mexico, Peru fell five spots since last year due to a “decrease in the wage equality ratio and in the percentage of women holding ministerial positions.” 

Out of 135 countries, Peru ranked at 88 in educational attainment, and came in at 91 in economic participation and opportunity. For economic participation Peru ranked particualry well in the region, beating Argentina, Chile, and Costa Rica. In terms of political participation, Peru fared well at spot 65, ahead of Brazil, Italy, and Japan. However, the country lags in terms of women’s health, ranking at spot 109 for health and survival, falling behind countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, and Guatemala.

In spite of ongoing challenges, women form an important part of President Ollanta Humala’s social inclusion aims. On the presidency website, Humala lists a number of goals to this end, including expanding women’s participation in government, guaranteeing access for women to the judicial system, and enforcing the 2007 Equality of Opportunities Law.

During an international women’s conference on October 18 that brought Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Peru, Social Inclusion Minister Carolina Trivelli highlighted the government’s efforts to improve female empowerment. Such programs include expanding women's entrepreneurship opportunities and increasing the number of women working in the private sector. During the event, Trivelli said: “It’s important to understand the processes that motivate women so that they can take control of their own aspirations and channel that energy to change their life stories, their communities, and the story of our country.”

Read about how other Latin American countries fared in the gender report.