"Now, people call us to be part of community actions." - Mary MacKillop Today

“Now, people call us to be part of community actions.”

The ‘Enhancing Women’s Civil Participation in Rural Peru’ project is working to give women living in the rural province of Quispicanchi, in the southern highlands of Peru, the skills, confidence, and opportunities to become community leaders.

Led by our local partner CCAIJO, the project has 18 women Councillors, 17 women officials, and 75 women leaders taking part. They receive training in how to lead, understand human rights, and be involved in community decision-making. The women meet regularly to share their experiences and ideas.

Meet Deysi!

At 36 years old, Deysi is a vegetable farmer and President of the District Women’s Organisation in Quispicanchi. Deysi was happy to talk about her involvement in the ‘Enhancing Women’s Civil Participation’ project.

Deysi is a vegetable farmer and President of the District Women’s Organisation in Quispicanchi

“From a very young age, I saw my mother participating in committees for our community. I went with her to her meetings and liked how women organised themselves and conducted the meetings, even if it was just for the distribution of products like milk.

As the years passed, when I was a young adult, I wanted to form a group for young people. But it was not possible because I had to leave home to prepare for life through my studies.

Now, since being back in my district, I saw that a women’s organisation was much needed to do community work. We heard on the radio that there was an institution working with women, and it was CCAIJO. We were very happy!

Many years ago, women had been fighting for respect and recognition of our rights. We did not have a women’s organisation representing us in society. When CCAIJO came along with the Political Empowerment Project, it helped us a lot. There, we met our sisters from CCAIJO, Susi and Yanet. They helped us develop a district meeting of women. I was elected as President, and in the Executive Board, there are women from different communities in my district.

Since that date, we have been participating in the activities carried out by the Municipality. People now know that there is a women’s organisation, and they call us to participate and be part of community actions. We go out to defend the rights of women against violence. The workshops that CCAIJO gives us help us to know more about our rights. Many of our fellow members have now participated in municipal elections.

I thank CCAIJO and Mary MacKillop Today for supporting us. Now we are ready to participate in politics, and we have learned a lot. I ask that the workshops continue and that they continue to invest in the women of Quispicanchi.”

Enhancing Women’s Civil Participation in Rural Peru project is supported by the Australian Government via the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).