The city of Lima occupies 0.22% of the national territory and concentrates approximately one third of the population of Peru. Globally, cities occupy 2% of the territory and concentrate 55% of the population. This population concentration presents great challenges such as poverty and urban segregation as a result of the unequal concentration of wealth.

In this context, the Women’s Political Agenda ( henceforth WPA) of Southern Lima was born as a tool for political advocacy on women’s rights, which was built through a participatory process that gathers the main demands and interests of women in the districts of San Juan de Miraflores, Villa María del Triunfo, Villa El Salvador and Lurín. Developed in a space of dialogue and consultation between and for women themselves, this tool is oriented towards the construction of a discourse of women to coordinate and negotiate with the authorities at the local level, strengthening democracy and governance. The experience began in 2005 and has been sustained to the present day thanks to the efforts and participation of organized women.

Following this line of work is that the initiative to formulate a Women’s Political Agenda at the level of Metropolitan Lima was being developed from the space of social organizations of women of South Lima and the Urban Program of DESCO (UPD).

Knowing the challenge of talking about an Agenda at the Metropolitan Lima level, we decided to have two phases of this process. A first phase would have the objective of elaborating the guidelines of the Women’s Political Agenda of the City of Lima and of getting to know the diverse women of social organizations of Eastern, Northern and Central Lima. While a second phase would work on the basis of the diagnosis collected in the previous phase and would have participatory workshops, working tables with specialists and moments of advocacy.

Thanks to the joint work with the Grupo Propuesta Ciudadana and the women’s organizations in southern Lima, we were able to begin with the first phase.  We identified 7 thematic lines to start the process: Education and Culture, Health, Work, Gender Violence, Security, Urban-environmental Development and Political Participation. Which we consider allow us to talk about the social, economic, cultural, political and urban-environmental rights of women in the city. Three women leaders from this area of the city were integrated in the following workshops in Lima North, Center and East to co-direct and share their experiences of the WPA.

The dynamic in each of the workshops was similar, at the beginning each participant introduced herself and told a little about her experience as a social leader, then a colleague from South Lima shared her experience in the formulation of the WPA. A colleague from the UPD shared information regarding the phases of the formulation of the WPA by the City of Lima and then an exercise was done to identify problems that affect women in each of the 7 thematic lines.

The strategy we used to carry out the workshops outside of Southern Lima was to look for allied organizations in each of the areas of Lima. Thanks to the Mesa de Concertación por la Equidad de Género de Comas (North Lima), the Sindicato de Nacional Trabajadoras del Hogar del Perú (Central Lima) and the Servicios Educativos el Agustino (East Lima), these three workshops could be convened and carried out.

The Congresswoman of the Republic Indira Huilca, connoisseur of the experience of the WPA of South Lima, is an ally of this process with which we co-organized an event to present the results obtained in each one of the participative workshops of the 4 zones of Lima. The results are composed of a diagnosis from the perspective of women of problems that violate their rights, those of their family and community in the space of the city.

It should be noted that the workshops held in the 4 areas of Lima and this presentation event are a first step in formulating the Women’s Political Agenda for the City of Lima, in the following months we will begin the second phase of formulation with a call expanded to a greater number of women’s organizations throughout the city. This first phase gathered the problems in the violation of the rights from the perspective of the women, the companions widened this spectrum thinking about their family and community. Thus, the formulation of the guidelines has contained their experience and knowledge, the product of their constant struggle for the city.

This ongoing process is supported by Habitat International Coalition (HIC-AL) and the Global Platform for the Right to the City. 

Note by DESCO Urban Programme Technical Team