National March Against Violence "Ni Una Menos"

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Author: 
Latin America Regional Correspondent
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MARCHA NACIONAL '#NI UNA MENOS' COBERTURA ESPECIAL

Thousands of women, including sex workers protested violence (physical, sexual, and psychological) that women face in Peru on the 13 of August. There was a national march in 24 difference cities across  the country. Sex worker-led organisations such as "Mujeres del Sur" of Arequipa, " Movimiento de trabajadoras sexuales de Peru", "Miluska Vida y Dignidad", "Angel Azul" and "Cambio y Accion", and “PLAPERTS” participated in the march. They chanted in one voice, “Ni una mujer menos víctima  de violencia” “Ni una trabajadora sexual menos.”

The march was intended to put political pressure on the government to legislate tougher anti-violence laws. The protest also highlighted the need to properly implement the laws that already exist, without any corruption. The march also empowered women to think that the violence they experience on a daily basis in unacceptable. Unfortunately, many women still think that violence is normal. Community-based organisations are making efforts to train and encourage so that such crimes do not go unpunished. Some women, including sex workers, denounce their perpetrators but the lack of regulation means their perpetrators are often set free, which then puts their life in danger.

“As sex workers we identified markers of violence in our community, not just gender-based violence but also other characteristics that increase our vulnerability, such as the stigma and discrimination faced by sex workers. We are just like all women,” said sex workers present at the march.  

Similar to other countries, this march included various individuals and groups that do not share political beliefs. However, they share the same politics about violence against women. Violence in Peru increases every day. For example, the current Constitutional President of the Republic of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard the Peruvian political party by Kambio (PPK) and part of his cabinet participated in the march. 

According to various human rights organizations in Peru there is an average of 10 femicides per month excluding cases where the victim of violence manages to save their life. According to the ministry of Health of Women and Vulnerable Populations in Peru cases of violence against women are increasing. In 2016 there have been more than 70 murders of women in Peru.