Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Management

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai

Abstract

Over 50 percent of the Peruvian population is living in poverty today. Poverty can lead to serious health problems, such as malnutrition, diarrhea, and poor physical and cognitive development. Because so many Peruvians are living in poverty, a large portion of the population suffers from poverty-related illnesses and impairments. Furthermore, research finds that 82 percent of people with disabilities are living in poverty. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there is an interrelationship between poverty and disability in Peru, and to explain this relationship using Johan Galtung’s theory of structural and cultural violence.

Data have been collected from six months of field work and observations, a series of in-depth interviews, and published reports. I found that there is an interrelationship between poverty and disability. Poverty causes disability through lack of health resources, poor external conditions, and violence. Disability causes poverty because of lack of resources, social exclusion, and exclusion from education and employment opportunities. My conclusion is that there is not only a relationship, but also a cycle of poverty and disability. Structural and cultural violence both play a role in reinforcing this relationship. And lastly, in order to decrease poverty, the government needs to make more programs aimed at aiding the disabled, because they are a large portion of the population and lack many resources.

Disciplines

Growth and Development | Other Mental and Social Health

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