Planning Quechua families: indigenous subjectivities, inequalities and kinship under the Peruvian family planning programme

Year of award: 2016


  • Rebecca Irons

    University College London

Project summary

This research will investigate how the Peruvian family planning (FP) programme is being implemented in an indigenous community, and look at the wider affects that this intervention may have on community networks as well as individuals. Anthropological literature describes how biomedical interventions can affect how people view their bodies, which can alter personal and community relationships. I will examine the results of enforced medical FP to ascertain what affects the programme has on traditional kinship and community networks which the Quechua-indigenous rely upon in the Andes. 

In 1990-2000 the Peruvian government used coercion to sterilise more than 200,000 rural-indigenous people without consent, which was seen as a way of controlling the fertility of this ‘less-desirable’ sub-population. This group is again being targeted for intervention. The project will investigate if there are any contemporary issues with lack of information, misinformation or discriminatory practice by exploring how the programme is being delivered to indigenous communities.