Engaging and Contesting Hegemonic Discourses Through Feminist Participatory Action Research in Peru: Towards a Feminist Decolonial Praxis

  • Gabriela TávaraEmail author
Part of the Community Psychology book series (COMPSY)


For centuries Andean women from rural areas of Peru have lived in ongoing conditions of gender and racial marginalisation. Seeking to address these conditions and promote their wellbeing and development, professionals have been working with Andean women through social and economic projects. However, often these professionals privilege ideas and practices informed by their disciplinary training, which is largely rooted in western knowledge. This chapter explores how, through a feminist participatory action research (PAR) project, a group of Andean women engaged and contested ideas they perceive as being introduced in to their community from outside by professionals, particularly ideas regarding organising-as-women, development, and violence against women. It analyses how women decide to incorporate some ideas transforming and adapting them to their local context, and how they choose to reject others given that they are not in line with their ways of being in the world as Andean women. Furthermore, this chapter explores feminist PAR’s potential as a method for decolonizing feminist community psychology. It illustrates how this feminist PAR project served as a space for a group of Andean women to actively reflect and discuss about their processes of knowledge construction, processes that occur in relation to their local knowledge and in constant confrontation with dominant discourses that enter their communities from further afield. The chapter concludes with reflections and recommendations for community psychologists who work with indigenous women and who are interested in developing a feminist decolonial praxis.


Indigenous women Participatory action research Gender and development Women’s organisations Violence against women 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pontificia Universidad Católica del PerúLimaPeru

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