8 Peruvian Women Who Made History
To celebrate and conclude March being Women’s History Month, we want to acknowledge some of the many incredible women throughout Peru’s history! Although some people might disagree, Peru is often described as a patriarchal society and men receive preferred treatment in almost all aspects of society.
Traditionally in Peru, men and women have occupied very different labor roles but the lines are slowly being blurred as more women gain access to training and formal education. Despite all the obstacles Peruvian women have faced, they have continued to fight and protest for equal rights and the nation would not be the same had it not been for the impact of these women.
Aracely Quispe Neira - Peruvian astronautics engineer who was the first Latin American to command three missions in NASA. Aracely is an official speaker of NASA and the United States Department of State, where she has been recognized for her efforts in space as well as the social field because she has led many projects supporting young people to pursue scientific careers.
Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista - Peruvian lawyer and advocate for women. As a survivor of domestic violence, she has used her story to greatly increase social and political awareness in Peru about women’s rights and violence based on gender.
Luisa Revilla Urcia - Politician in the northwestern province of Trujillo and a LGBTQIA+ rights advocate. On October 5, 2014 she became the first out transgender person elected to public office in the generally conservative country. Luisa stated, “I am going to promote equality and I will say no to discrimination. We want everyone to have equal access, to succeed and to achieve their goals.”
Mariana Costa Checa - Co-founder and CEO at Laboratoria, a social enterprise working to equip young women in underserved Latin American communities with the skills they need to build successful careers in the tech industry. Mariana has been recognized multiple times for her work as a social entrepreneur including being named by MIT as one of Peru’s leading innovators under 35.
Renata Flores Rivera - Peruvian Quechua singer and rapper who is a singer, composer, and activist aiming to preserve the native language and cultural customs by singing in Quechua. Renata has gained an incredible amount of following and support on YouTube and she continues to challenge her audience to preserve the indigenous culture and language and end the cycle of generational trauma.
Maria Reiche - Although she was born in Germany and didn’t settle in Peru until she was 36, no one doubts that Maria Reiche is Peruvian. As a great archaeologist and mathematician, she made enormous contributions to the studies of the Nazca lines and is now known as the “Lady of the Lines.”
Roxana Quispe Collantes - A doctoral student who made history by becoming the first person to write and defend a thesis in the Incan language, Quechua. Roxana said, “My greatest wish is for Quechua to become a necessity once again. Only by speaking it can we revive it.”
Tatiana Espinosa - Peruvian forestry engineer who co-created Arbio Peru, a non-profit seeking to implement conservation actions with the participation of civil society and the private sector. Her contributions and efforts made her the first Latin American to be recognized with the Jane Goodall Hope and Inspiration Ranger Award.
We want to give a big thank you to these women (and so many more) that have paved the way for future generations of women to come. Without these historical contributions, Peru, and the rest of the world, would not look the same as it does today.