- ABOUT SAY NO
- AROUND THE WORLD
- THE ISSUE
- TAKE ACTION
by Carlos Tello
I was born in Lima, Peru, where I have lived all my life. I am 27 years old and I have an undergraduate degree in Telecommunications Engineering. In the near future, I am moving to Vancouver, Canada, in order to study a Master of Journalism in the University of British Columbia. Also, I have been a hospital clown for the past year and a half.
I want to become a journalist because I want to investigate Peruvian culture – and I want people to learn about my country through my work.
Gender Equality in My Community
When Peru’s political, economic, and social development over the last twenty years are discussed, especially in Lima (capital of the country) or abroad, what gets most of the attention are our great macroeconomic indicators: the increasing number of international tourists coming to Peru, poverty reduction, and recognition of Macchu Picchu as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, etc. Because of that – for a lot of people, it has become trendy to say that we are getting closer to our goal of becoming part of the first world.
This positive way of looking at ourselves tends to change when we start looking past what most of the press in Lima shows. Protests, social conflicts, industrial contamination, the impossibility of having a real lax state, the bad quality of our education, the absence of the state in some provinces, corruption, etc. are some of the problems that we have, and are not frequently covered in the news.
Gender equality is a goal we have not been able to achieve. Even though women vote and their representation was instituted in 1956, 56 yeas later, of 130 members of our congress, only 28 are women. Of the 19 minsters in the central government, only four are women. Of 25 regional presidents, none is a woman. Even in Lima, the most liberal city in Peru, of 43 district mayors, only five are women.
Additionally, Peru is the country with the highest number of sexual assaults in Latin America. There are 20 sexual assaults every day, approximately; 93% of them against women, and 78% of them against someone younger than 18 years old. Sexual assault is not the only problem; there are also a high number of sexual harassment cases in the country, and it has almost became normal to watch disrespectful and sexist treatment against women on the streets.
While we suffer these problems – alongside with many others, we will not be able to speak of gender equality in Peru, and we will not be able to get closer to this goal of becoming a first world country.