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In Peru, by 2022, 93,6% of deliveries were assisted by qualified health personnel (institutional births); C-sections procedures have increased from 20.4% in 2010 to 34.2% in 2017, and 36.4% in 2022 (ENDES 2022).

Currently, the National Plan against Gender Violence (2016-2021) recognizes obstetric violence as "a specific modality of institutional violence exerted by the health system … as a form of domination and control over the body and the autonomy of women". However, few medical professionals acknowledged their personal and medical practices as violent or avoidable therefore become unable to discuss and modify them.

The objective of this exploratory qualitative research is to identify contexts and practices that health professionals recognize as problematic or questionable, and therefore susceptible to meet obstetric violence definitions and typologies developed from women's rights perspectives.

Furthermore, understanding how these practices are explained or justified is key to starting a dialogue with women experiencing obstetric violence.

This will help to promote health professionals´ awareness of their own habits and practices and changes regarding “standardized medical procedures”, health system characteristics, and/or individual discriminatory behaviour.

This is a hybrid event, with a limited number of in-person tickets. Instructions on how to join the event online, will be sent to registered guests. Refreshments will be served at the event.


Associate Professor Ruth Iguiñiz-Romero, School of Public Health and Administration, University Cayetano Heredia (Peru)

Ruth Iguiñiz Romero is associate professor of health policy at the School of Public Health and Administration - University Cayetano Heredia in Peru. She did her Ph.D. at the New School (NY) on governance processes at play in developing maternal mortality prevention policies in Peru.

She has a particular interest in health systems and policies from a social science perspective to understand key cultural and historical elements affecting health systems development and performance. She carried out research on health systems response in the Zika Virus context, and on prevention and control of TB in Peru. 

As a social scientist trained in anthropology, history and public policy, her analysis of health systems and policies is informed by the intersection between gender, historical, intercultural, public health and human rights frameworks. 

Currently, Ruth holds a Global Visiting Fellowship at SSPP, King’s College London, with the project “Expanding networks for transformative gender justice and women ́s health within health care systems research in Peru”.


Professor Jelke Boesten, International Development, King’s College London

Jelke has an MA in History and a PhD in Gender Studies from the University of Amsterdam. Prior to joining King’s she held a research position at the University of Bradford, Departments of International Development (2004-06) and Peace Studies (2006-07), and a lectureship at the University of Leeds in Politics and International Studies (2007-2013).

Over the years, Jelke has looked at different aspects of violence against women in war and in peace, social policy and transitional justice, and persistent intersecting inequalities, particularly in Peru.

At King’s, she founded and convenes the Gender Studies Network as well as co-convenes the Visual and Embodied Methodologies (VEM) Network. The most recent project coming out of VEM is the exploratory and collaborative arts-based research project called Imaging Social Justice.

At this event

Jelke  Boesten

Vice Dean (Research), interim, SSPP

Event details

SW -2.09 & -2.07
Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus, Strand, London WC2R 2LS