The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru caused many shops in which Venezuelan women were previously employed to close their doors. In order to gain more control over their income and to balance childcare and household responsibilities, many women were pushed towards entrepreneurship and started their own small businesses from their homes.
A woman from the study recounts:
I had been working, I had a steady job. But once the pandemic started, they had to close the store and then we could not continue working. Many of us were unemployed and, well, I had to start over little by little. I spent about four months without working at anything, because I didn't know what to do and I was kind of lost.
Xenophobia remains an enormous obstacle for Venezuelan women living in Peru. Rejection by co-workers and elevated levels of emotional pressure are common, which increases depression, lack of self-confidence, isolation and even difficulty sleeping.
Another woman from the study discussed the difficulties of being available for her children.
My daughter, who is already eight years old, she complains to me about why I can’t spend more time with them, because I work a lot and sometimes I don't have enough money since they depend only on me, they don't count on their father's help. Sometimes she also complains to me because I don't share much with her. I don't go to the park often with them because some Sundays, which is the day I rest, I can’t even rest because I do things at home or take on extra work to earn a little more money.
Despite the challenges of migration, COVID-19 and economic pressures in a new country, the study found high levels of resilience amongst Venezuelan women in Peru. With a desire to overcome and persevere to achieve their goals, these women are betting on a brighter future.
As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to ripple through Peru, LWR remains committed to connecting Venezuelan migrants with critical, accurate information and personalized virtual legal, psychosocial and livelihoods assistance through VenInformado.
The following blog is adapted from its Spanish version, originally published on VenInformado’ s site.