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Gender equality and human rights

Women living free from violence

Violence against women has multiple expressions and does not distinguish between ethnicity, origin or socio-economic condition. It affects the health and rights of women and has a pernicious effect on the coexistence of people and the progress of societies.

Peru is one of the countries with the highest number of femicides* in Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC 2017). 7 out of 10 Peruvian women have been victims of physical, sexual or psychological violence by their partners (INEI 2016). 

The eradication of violence against women is an essential condition for their empowerment and the enjoyment of their human rights. It is also a fundamental measure for society to progress and the country to capitalize on the potential of more than 15 million Peruvian women.

* Femicide is defined as the murder of a woman motivated by some type of discrimination because she is a woman.

Our Challenge

In recent years, Peru has made important institutional, legislative, and regulatory advances that have improved the provision of services and access to protection and justice measures. However, reversing this situation and ensuring the right of every woman to a life free of violence implies promoting profound changes in the social and cultural norms that allow gender-based violence, as well as strengthening multisectoral attention to victims and the capacities of the institutions that work to promote and protect their rights, among other measures.

Related Strategic Result of the IX Country Program of UNFPA and the Peruvian State: Strengthened national capacities to advance sexual and reproductive rights and combat sexual violence.

Violence against Women:

7 out of 10 women have been victims of some type of violence by their partners, at least once in their lives, 12% in the last 12 months. 64% of women who have ever had a partner said they were victims of psychological violence by their husband or partner. There are about 12,000 inmates in prisons in Peru for sexual abuse. More than 60% of its victims are minors (INPE 2016).

Sexual violence against women:

7 out of 100 women have been victims of sexual violence by their partners at some time in their lives, while around 4 out of 100 women were sexually assaulted in the last twelve months (INEI 2016).


722 victims of femicide were registered between 2009 and 2015 (INEI 2016b). 

6 out of 10 femicides occurred in the victim's home. In the same proportion of cases, the victim had minor children. In 9 out of 10 cases, the aggressors held the victim responsible and in 8 out of 10, the victim had previously been threatened (Ombudsman's Office 2016).

The Opportunity

Ensuring that all women enjoy a life without violence and with respect for their rights favors that they can fulfill themselves personally, give greater well-being to their families, fully enjoy life as a couple and in society, exercise full citizenship and contribute to equitable development and fair of their communities and the country.

Currently, the reduction in fertility and the change in the size and composition of families in Peru can bring an important economic and social benefit to the country (known as the gender bonus). To materialize this possibility, it is essential to eradicate violence against women (and all forms of discrimination that affect them), and promote their empowerment and their participation in economic activity.

Our Strategy

UNFPA contributes to achieving greater equality of opportunities between men and women, based on the prevention and care of violence against women—particularly sexual violence—and the defense of women's sexual and reproductive rights.

In addition, we support initiatives that seek to encourage the involvement of men in caregiving roles at home and in domestic tasks, as well as in the search for equality between men and women in all areas.