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Country visit to Peru

In its report on its visit to Peru from 11 to 19 September 2014, the Group stressed the considerable efforts made in recent years by the Government to strengthen its legal and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of women's rights and gender equality. The Group noted that during the last decade, the country has experienced rapid and sustained economic growth, which has contributed to a significant reduction in poverty. This growth, however, has not led to an improvement in the human development index. Women are particularly affected by job insecurity, working for the vast majority in the informal sector with no social security, health insurance, retirement pension, annual leave or maternity leave.

The Group expressed its concern about the serious economic and social consequences of extractive industries on indigenous and rural women, exacerbated by illegal mining despite the economic benefits that these industries in the country. In spite of the efforts made by the Government, the Group is concerned that all adequate measures to prevent such serious harm to women have not been taken.

The Group also expressed its concern at the discrimination suffered by women regarding the realization of their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to contraception and medical care as well therapeutic abortions, in particular by those in precarious socio-economic situations. The Group also noted the high rate of pregnancy among girls and adolescents and the limits of the Government’s efforts to take effective measures to ensure sex education, access to contraception and legal abortion for this part of the population who remains highly vulnerable. In addition, the Group deeply regrets the 2009 decision of the Constitutional Court prohibiting the free distribution of emergency contraception and deplores that the recent bill proposing the decriminalization of abortion in case of rape was rejected by Congress on 25 May 2015.

The Group expressed its deep concern at the alarming level of violence against women that requires urgent action at all levels and stressed in particular the serious difficulties of access to justice for all women, especially rural and indigenous women. The lack of appropriate recourse or prosecution leave many cases unpunished.

The Group welcomed the recent steps taken by the Government, including the adoption of the law on the criminalization of sexual harassment in the streets, the ratification of ILO Convention 183, the initiatives to address the unacceptably high rates the informal labour of women but also the reopening of investigations into cases of enforced sterilizations in the 90’s. Despite all the efforts made, the Government of Peru must do more to combat discrimination against women which is deeply rooted and the violence that affects too many Peruvian women victim of a dominant male conservatism.

Please also see the end of mission statement at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15078&LangID=E