Surviving juntas (together): lessons of resilience of indigenous Quechua women in the aftermath of conflict in Peru

Research into survivors of war has largely focused on suffering, rather than on the resilience, of survivors. This paper presents a cross-sectional survey that examined the factors contributing to the resilience of indigenous Quechua women (n = 151) in the aftermath of Peruvian armed conflict (1980-2000). Regular participation in civic associations, and the migratory status of returnees after the conflict, were associated with higher resilience. In contrast, low levels of education, unpaid occupations and experience of sexual violence during the conflict were all associated with lower resilience. These findings suggest that social policies that revitalise civic society and reduce gender inequalities within education and employment are crucial to enhance women's resilience in post war zones. In this study, the resilience of Quechua women, in particular their association with political activism, offers an unambiguous example of courage and active resistance to extreme adversity.

Suarez, Eliana Barrios