Conservatives mobilise against the 'Gender Agenda'

18 February 2017

In the past months the debate on the teaching of gender equality in Peru has become increasingly toxic. In December, this was one of the reasons given for the build-up of opposition to the minister of education (who was subsequently forced to resign). Many claimed that he wanted to teach children what they described as ‘gender ideology’.

A movement has emerged with the name ‘Don’t Mess with my Children’ (Con mis hijos no te metas). Backed by the more conservative elements in the Catholic and evangelical churches, this has gained a strong presence in social media. Last month it started demonstrating in different parts of Lima with large blue and pink placards with its logo. It has collected more than a million signatures and wants to force the government to backtrack so that ideas of gender equality are not taught at schools.

Some of their ideas and activities can be found in the Facebook page

On 17 February, the collective took to the streets to present their petition to Congress and to show that their weight in society. There was confrontation between the police and protesters as sympathisers headed to Congress with a petition to have the law on the curriculum scrapped.

In the publicity materials distributed in the march the Don’t Mess with my Children Collective asserted that the government was aiming to teach children as young as five that there were no differences between men and women and that they could choose their own gender; this is in spite of there being no mention of any such directive in the materials produced by the education ministry. Officials have repeatedly proclaimed that the policy is to advance the idea of gender equality.

All news

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member