Over the last decade, Peru's fast-growing economy was fueled by high prices in the mining, oil, and gas sectors. As gold prices climbed, illegal alluvial gold mining expanded into Madre de Dios, the region where PROMSEX is- and plans to continue- implementing its work. Located in the Amazon region in southeastern Peru, Madre de Dios has a population of 140,000 people that is predominantly young. The expansion of informal and illegal activities associated with gold mining, coupled with the influx of a large number of internal migrants from the Peruvian highlands and a weak presence by State institutions, created an environment that is favorable for violence.
Madre de Dios is one of the regions most affected by violence, against women in Peru, with adolescent girls being disproportionately impacted. According to a PROMSEX report, four out of every five allegations of rape are made by girls under the age of 18. PROMSEX also notes that physical violence is often absent in cases of rape of underage women, that rape is usually carried out by a single perpetrator who is often known to the victim, and the victims under 18 tend to suffer several aggressions before reporting to local authorities. Most young people in Madre de Dios do not know their rights and are not familiar with the health and legal resources that are available to them. In addition, community members-including the victims' own family members- are not aware of the existing legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women. PROMSEX seeks to work with each of these stakeholders to change this reality.
Founded in 2005, PROMSEX is a leading player in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Peru and Latin America. Through advocacy and community programming, the organization has played a key role in advancing comprehensive sexuality education in Peru, expanding knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and rights, reducing gender-based violence, and increasing gender equality. PROMSEX is a member of several regional and international networks, such as the Latin American Consortium for Emergency Contraception, the Latin American Consortium against Unsafe Abortion, and the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network.
EMpower's fourth grant to PROMSEX is contributing to the prevention of sex and gender-based violence among children and adolescents in the remote Department of Madre de Dios, one of the regions most affected by violence against women in Peru. PROMSEX will implement a multipronged strategy aimed at disseminating and aiding the implementation of the newly approved National Guidelines for the Care of Victims of Sex and Gender-Based Violence. It will do so by working in collaboration with the education, governmental, health, and community sectors.
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