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I Love Peru – Local Peruvian news in English

Afro-Peruvians face discrimination, education and health problems

December 19
12:44 2011

In Peru, there are more than 669,443 Peruvians who are descendants from Africa, but according to surveys, they lack the public policies that would guarantee their development.

Afro-Peruvians in Peru lack public policies to aid in their advancement, according to national surveys. Photo: anissat/

Nearly 54 percent of the Afro-Peruvian population has felt discriminated against and in some cases assaulted, especially among women, according to the 2006 national survey Encuesta Nacional Continua (Enco) and previous surveys conducted by organizations that focus on the subject.

These figures, gathered by the debate panel Diagnóstico that recently discussed gender problems and the situation of Afro-descended women in Peru, deduced that there is in fact a situation of exclusion from society that correlates to poverty which is affecting this minority population.

One of the characteristics that was observed is the absence of updated statistical information that permits the implementation of public policies, policies which would serve to better the quality of life for the Afro-women,” Giovanna Carrillo, consultant from the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), stated about the current situation of Afro-descendent women in Peru in the national newspaper, El Peruano.

Carillo affirmed that there appears to be a dispersion and homogenization of intercultural politics, in which the Afro-descendant population is not visible in society. She concludes that it is necessary to contribute to the design of new public policies that would represent an intercultural perspective that also focuses on gender in the Afro-Peruvian population.

Health and Education in the Afro-Peruvian community 

According to Carrillo, studies show a number of recurrent illnesses, such as degenerative osteoarthritis, diabetes, arterial hypertension, breast cancer, rheumatism and arthritis, affect the Afro-Peruvian population.

These figures coincide with a qualitative study of elderly Afro-Peruvians, conducted by sociologist and anthropologist José Luis Portocarrero from the Dirección de Personas Adultas Mayores del Ministerio de la Mujer y Desarrollo Social or Ministry of Women and Social Development ‘s Directorate of the Elderly (MIMDES).

It was cited by Portocarrero that out of 14,854 surveyed, only 1,994 are literate. The specialist also emphasized that 29 percent of adult Afro-Peruvian women over the age of 50 are literate, whereas 17 percent of the 36 to 50 age group are literate.

Afro-Peruvian Arts exposition 

Conscious of the Afro-descendant culture as part of the identity and art of Peru, the Minister of Culture presents “Legacy,” an Afro-Peruvian musical exposition.

Audience members will be able to observe Afro-Peruvian musical instruments from the 17th century and on. The exposition is at the Museo de la Nación, Lima, and is free to the public.

About Author

Katie Bolin

Katie Bolin

Katie is a journalist who has a passion for writing, languages and traveling. She has a degree in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Minnesota and has written articles as well as hosted a radio show for I Love Peru's sister site I Love Chile. She also loves dogs.

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