Saturday, 15 March 2014

Peru: Forced sterilisation victims fight on

Dan Collyns in the Guardian has a good and detailed article on the continued fight of highland Peruvian women who underwent sterilisation without their consent during the Fujimori government.

Particularly shocking is the testimony of a woman who relates that her foetus was aborted and she was then sterilised; I had previously only heard of sterilisations being carried out after the women had given birth.
"What have you done to me? I asked the nurse. This is by order of the government, she said to me, you people have many children. This is the way it has to be."

Comments like this highlight the endemic racism which led to this situation: the perception that Andean families were having too many children and that the solution to this was not education, but compulsion, coercion or trickery. It's saddening to note that a couple of comments below the line seem to almost back this approach, in a "of course it was wrong but something needed to be done" way. The woman who relates that her husband beats her also shows that these women are oppressed by sexism from both sides, within the home and from the state. Reparations alone will not solve this problem, of course, but they may form part of a just response to it.

Peruvian women intent on bringing state to book over forced sterilisations (Guardian)

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