Forcibly sterilised women continue fight for justice

11 March 2019

To commemorate International Women’s Day, the association of women affected by forced sterilisation during the Fujimori years (1990-2000) took to the streets with other feminist collectives to continue their campaign for justice. In a document resuming their principal demands, they expressed recognition that, after more than twenty years, the prosecutor’s office (Ministerio Público) has finally presented their case to the judiciary; they now await proceedings to begin.

At the end of February, they met with representatives of the ministries of justice, health and women’s affairs. President Martín Vizcarra has still not met them, however, and the women are demanding that he issue a public apology in the name of the government. They also demand that the justice ministry ensure proper reparations in consultation with victim’s groups. Furthermore, they want a more active role for the office compiling a record of all those forcibly sterilised. As for the health ministry, they want better access to a non-discriminatory public health services that looks after victims.

Over the last three years, the association has successfully mounted a national campaign to ensure justice and reparation for victims. Those involved have become more visible and outspoken. Regional chapters have multiplied, ensuring better support for victims. Growing numbers of people involved mean greater pressure on government to get things done. The coming months will show if there is any real change in their situation.

As well as demanding to meet Vizcarra, they want to meet the newly-appointed chief public prosecutor (Fiscal de la Nación) Zoraida Avilos. Rute Zuñiga the association’s president, plans to gain more public visibility and to ensure that women get proper medical treatment. This was suspended in 2017 for lack of funds.

 

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