Peru is not ranked in the 2012 SIGI due to missing data for one or more SIGI variables. The country was ranked 17th out of 102 in the 2009 Social Institutions and Gender Index.
The 2011 Human Development Index (HDI) score for the country is 0.725, placing it in 80th place (out of 187 countries). The Gender Inequality Index score is 0.415. Peru’s Global Gender Gap Index rating for 2011 is 0.6796, placing it in 73rd place (out of a total of 135 countries).
The status of Peruvian women within the family is well protected. A law prohibiting early marriage was adopted in 1999 and the minimum legal age of marriage is now 16 years for both men and women. It was previously 14 years for women. The percentage of girls between 15 and 19 years of age who are married, divorced or widowed has declined slightly since 1996 from 12.5 percent to 11.5 percent in 2004.
Polygamy is not practiced in Peru.
In Peruvian families, parental authority is shared by the mother and father, who have equal rights and obligations. However, in nearly 25 per cent of marriages, the father alone manages important household expenses. In the event of divorce, the courts take into account the best interests of the child when awarding custody. In most cases, children under seven years of age stay with the mother. Once children reach the age of seven, custody depends on their sex: girls stay with their mother and boys with their father.
Peruvian law grants equal inheritance rights to men and women.
 Law 27201 of 14 November 1999; CEDAW 2004, p. 93.  United Nations (UN) (2004), World Fertility Update 2003, p. 268; UN (2008), World Marriage Data 2008.  Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática (INEI), United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID) and Macro International Inc. (2007), Encuesta Demográfica y de Salud Familiar: ENDES Continua 2004-2006, Table 3.10.  CEDAW 2004, p. 93.  CEDAW 2004, p. 93.
The government has acted to reduce violence against women and, in 2001, set up the National Programme against Family Violence and Sexual Abuse. A law adopted in 2002 makes local authorities responsible for policies pertaining to domestic violence. The law stipulates punishments for both rape and spousal rape, however the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women expressed concern in 2007 about the lack of enforcement measures and the lack of access to justice for women, particularly indigenous women. In addition, an emergency centre for women was established to provide assistance to victims. However, the problem of violence against women remains widespread. Statistics show that just under one-half of women living as a couple have suffered violence at the hands of their partner on at least one occasion, while the Ministry of Women and Social Development reported that nearly four of every ten women (38 percent) have ever experienced domestic violence. Household survey data from 2004-2006 however shows that only 14 percent of married women report experiencing physical violence at the hands of their spouse in the previous twelve months. Still, many cases go unreported, and the majority of cases that are reported do result in formal charges. This may be the reason why women who experience and choose to seek help prefer to go to someone familiar (41 percent) nearly three times more than the authorities (15 percent) In Peru, the most common form of violence against women is psychological abuse; nearly two-thirds of married, divorced, or widowed women in Peru reported that the men in their relationships either verbally or psychologically abused them or otherwise tried to exert some control over their lives.
In 2003 the Prevention and Punishment of Sexual Harassment Act (Law 27942) was published, to prevent and punish sexual harassment that arises in relationships of authority or dependency, however the law does not provide that sexual harassment is a crime.
During Peru’s civil war which lasted from 1980 until 2000, women and children were victims of rape and sexual assault, especially in rural areas and during detention, and such acts were performed both by government forces and opposition groups. Other types of violence included sexual slavery, sexual violence as a form of torture, forced marriage, abortion and pregnancy. Most cases of violence targeted lower middle class and brown-skinned women (cholas or mestizas), indicating that victims were targeted in relation to their class and race. Following the conflict in the years 2000s, an increased incidence of sexual violence against women was reported.
Female genital mutilation is not a common practice, although one indigenous community appears to use this type of mutilation to mark girls’ entry into puberty.
As part of the 13th National Accord established in 2002, Peru offers family planning services, including some forms of free contraception. Contraceptive knowledge among all Peruvian women is virtually universal. Contraceptive use is also high among all women, with 95 percent of all married or cohabitating women reporting use at some point in their relationships, with 71 percent reporting current use. This represents a 25 percent increase in contraceptive prevalence since 1986. In addition, the use of modern methods of contraceptives has doubled over that time.
Abortion is permitted in Peru only for the following reasons: to save a woman’s life and to preserve a woman’s physical and mental health.
 CEDAW 2004, p. 8.  Article 60 of Law 27867, the Regional Governments Act of 18 November 2002; CEDAW 2004, p. 48.  CEDAW (2006) http://daccess-dds ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/544/70/PDF/N0654470.pdf?OpenElement  CEDAW (2007) http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/244/10/PDF/N0724410.pdf?OpenElement  DHS 2007, Table 12.2.  DHS 2004-06, Table 12.3.  U.S. State Dept. (2010) 2009 Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Peru.  DHS 2004-06, Table 12.9.  DHS 2004-06, Table 12.1.  CEDAW (2004)  Bastick, M., Grimm, K. and Kunz, R. (2007)  Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (n.d.), Parliamentary Campaign to “Stop Violence Against Women”: Female Genital Mutilation, Legislation and Other National Provisions, accessed 30 April 2010.  CEDAW 2004, p. 29.  DHS 2004-06, Table 5.1.  DHS 2004-06, Tables 5.3 and 5.4.  DHS 2004-06, Graph 5.3.  UN DESA (2011)
The 2011 female-to-male ratio for primary and secondary school enrolment is 1.00.
2007 figures from the Encuesta de Trabajo Infantil (ETI) study indicate that out of all children aged 7-14 years, 44.8 per cent of boys engage in economic activity versus 39.4 per cent of girls. Children’s employment is very common in Peru, which does not meant that school attendance is not high also. Gender differences are negligible in terms of children’s employment, while there are large differences by place of residence and ethnicity.
The male/female sex ratio for the total population in 2012 is 0.97.
There is no evidence to suggest that Peru is a country of concern in relation to missing women.
The Constitution and the Civil Code provide for equal rights for men and women in regard to access to property other than land and signing contracts. Each spouse has the right to manage his or her own property, but the phenomenon of “informal ownership” is a source of injustice to women. Under this system, there is no obligation to obtain the wife’s consent when selling the family house. In effect, the husband has complete control of the property.
Peruvian women have some access to bank loans. They benefit primarily from micro-credit programmes and other support mechanisms to establish and operate small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In recent years, about one-half of the loans granted by the PAME (an association that helps SMEs) were given to women.
 CEDAW 2004, p. 93.  CEDAW 2004, pp. 85, 91.  CEDAW 2004, p. 93.  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Land Coalition (ILC) (2004), Rural Women’s Access to Land and Property in Selected Countries.  CEDAW 2004, pp. 84-85; Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Peru: Country Gender Profile, p. 36.
While there are no reported legal restrictions on women’s access to public space in Peru, in 2007 the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women noted concern about the large number of women, particularly indigenous and rural women, who do not have any documentation registering their births and consequently cannot claim nationality and social benefits.
The constitution guarantees the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of association is also generally respected, although several anti-mining activists have faced harassment in 2009. Finally, freedom of religion is also respected.
However, women still face discrimination in the political sphere despite legislation designed to increase their membership in the national government. There are 33 women in Peru’s 120-member congress. The Law on Political Parties mandates that at least 30 percent of candidates on the party lists be women. While parties abided by the legislation, many women candidates were included at the bottom of the party lists, reducing their likelihood of winning seats on regional and municipal councils. However, according to a 2007 Pew survey, eighty-three percent of those surveyed viewed male and female political candidates as equally qualified.
Peru offers 90 days of maternity leave at 100% of a woman’s average daily wage, financed through a national social security system. Pregnant women cannot be dismissed during their period of leave. However, Peru offers no other legal protections beyond the guaranteed right to work law. According to a 2006 survey, fully 60.2 percent of respondents agreed or agreed strongly with the statement ‘Being a housewife is just as fulfilling as paid work.’ According to the same survey, almost 73 percent do not believe that a working mother can establish just as warm and secure relationship with her children as with a mother who does not work. Peruvian law stipulates equal pay for equal work. However, societal prejudice and discrimination lead to disproportionate poverty and unemployment for women. On average, women are paid 46 percent less than men.
 CEDAW (2007) http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/244/10/PDF/N0724410.pdf?OpenElement  Freedom House (2010)  IPU (2010), Women in Parliament: All Countries on National Parliaments.  Law 27387of 29 December 2000 amending Law 26859, the Elections Act; CEDAW 2004, p. 60; State Dept. 2010.  Pew Research Center (2007), Global Attitudes Project: Spring 2007 Survey, Question Q.43.  International Labour Organization (ILO) (2009), Database of Conditions of Work and Employment Laws; CEDAW 2004, p. 52.  World Values Survey (WVS) (2006). Selected Country/Sample: Peru, Question V60.  World Bank (2009), Women’s Economic Opportunity Index, Indicator 4.4; World Values Survey (WVS) (2001), Selected Country/Sample: Peru, Question D057.  State Dept. 2010.
Peru is a country with a rich archaeological heritage – notably with the ancient Incan capital of Cuzco and the lost city of Machu Picchu – and has abundant mineral resources such as copper, silver, lead, zinc, oil and gold. In the 2000s, the country experienced a rapid economic expansion which, coupled with various programmes including conditional cash transfers, helped to reduce the national poverty rate by over 19 percentage points since 2002. The media reported that in 2011, Peru was one of the world's fastest-growing economies. However, Peru’s has to face numerous challenges such as its dependence on minerals, which subjects the economy to fluctuations in world prices, poor infrastructure and persisting social inequality; in 2011, Peru also had to face rising world prices of foodstuffs and fuel. But overall, Peru’s free-trade policies since 2006 have improved living standards in the country. It is classed by the World Bank as an upper middle-income country.
Article 2 of the 1993 Constitution of Peru upholds the principle of equality between men and women. The government passed a law in 2000 that criminalised discrimination, and introduced penalties requiring offenders to provide 30 to 70 days of community service. Despite such advances, women continue to experience higher levels of poverty and unemployment than men.
Peru ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1982, and the Optional Protocol on violence against women in 2001.
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