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The Impact of Improved Rural Roads on Gender Relations in Peru

International Mountain Society
Publication Date
  • Education


Abstract The Andean region of Peru covers over one third of the country's territory and contains about 30% of its total population. Development is constrained by both natural and nonnatural barriers, especially in rural areas. Geographic isolation, difficult mountainous terrain, high costs associated with improving transport infrastructure, deficient services, and intermediate means of transport limit the mobility of the rural poor as well as their access to basic services and utilities. Illiteracy rates are high in rural areas; the rate for women (28.2%) is 3 times that of men (9.1%). Responsible de facto for family life activities (education, health, food, recreation, child-care, family relations, etc) and increasingly sharing productive and management roles with men, rural women carry a significant workload. The impact of improved rural roads on gender relations in the Peruvian Andes is highlighted in the present paper, with a focus on the example of the Rural Roads Program. Recommendations are made for more gender-sensitive policy programs in the transport sector.

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