Intersecting Inequalities

Women and Social Policy in Peru, 19902000

By (author) Jelke Boesten

Paperback - £24.95

Publication date:

15 May 2013

Length of book:

192 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271036717

As the only male head of state to address the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, Alberto Fujimori projected an image as a promoter of progressive policies to improve the condition of women, especially the poor, in society. And indeed, during his tenure, the Peruvian government did pursue such policies in several areas, including poverty relief, population control, and domestic violence. In Intersecting Inequalities, Jelke Boesten uses these policies as case studies, examining the relationship between gender/race/class/ethnic divisions and the state in its project of nation-building. Her investigation reveals that policies meant to further women’s development and emancipation often reproduced the marginality they were supposed to fight. She also explores the strategies women developed to negotiate with and challenge the state.

Intersecting Inequalities is an innovative, nuanced exploration of women’s organizations and state policy frameworks in contemporary Peru. By using the lens of intersectionality to frame her study, Boesten provides us with a remarkable account of how gender, race, ethnicity, and class intersect to (re)produce marginality in the lives of indigenous and mestiza women as they interact with public institutions, NGOs, and even feminists. Her interdisciplinary approach challenges the very foundations of traditional social science fields and begs us to ask pressing questions about how neocolonial societal institutions and neoliberal policy processes continue to stratify Latin American societies and create irreconcilable differences among women—the supposed beneficiaries of modern feminism.”

—Amy Lind, University of Cincinnati