President Alberto Fujimori (in office from 1990–2000) has been accused of genocide and crimes against humanity as a result of a sterilization program put in place by his administration.During his presidency, Fujimori conducted a program of forced sterilizations against indigenous Quechuas and the Aymaras women, under the guise of a "public health plan". As such, they tend to be less fluent in Spanish, the national language of Peru.
Peru has one of the highest maternal death rates in South America, with the government noting 185 deaths per 100,000 live births, and the United Nations estimating the number at 240 per 100,000 live births.
In order to combat those high figures, the government released a strategic plan in 2008 to reduce the total to 120 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
Contraceptive availability is not enough for the demand, and over a third of pregnancies end in abortion.
Maternal death rates are also some of the highest in South America.
During that period, labour rights were revoked for women workers.
Discrimination based on gender is forbidden by the government of Peru, and a piece of legislation was passed in 2000 that outlawed discrimination.This may lead to difficulties when they must speak with outsiders, who often do not speak the indigenous language.Although Peru has an ethnically diverse population, discrimination by ethnic lines is common, particularly against amerindians and blacks; gender often interacts with ethnic origin; this may mean that "an indigenous woman may only ever work as a maid".The Peruvian Government has begun efforts to combat the high maternal mortality rate and lack of female political representation, as well as violence against women. Andean civilization is traditionally somewhat egalitarian for men and women, with women allowed to inherit property from their mothers.After the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire, the culture became more patriarchal; and the resulting society has been described as being machista.The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) noted that discrimination is practiced, in particular with regard to women's land rights, and that women in Peru generally have higher levels of poverty and unemployment.