While in 2000, 77% of women who were well educated were part of the labor force, only 39% of women with incomplete elementary education had access to some level of employment ( Attanasio & Szekely, 2001). However, women with little schooling are not able to improve their children's living standards, are more likely to have more children and lack the ability to encourage their children's school performance. This scenario is worsened by the fact the individuals with low-schooling and therefore low-income earning capacities, tend to join together and form households
( Attansio * Sxekely, 2001; Smith & Skidmore, 2001).
Peru governments have been promoting the testing and implementation of some initiatives to reduce poverty, guided and founded by international institutions such as IADB, ECLAC, WB, etc. The 20 / 20 approach launched by UNICEF, supports the UN MDG. It refers to a coordinated intervention between donor and the receiving country This is to ensure that 20% of its public expenditures go to social services in the form of social programs that assist the most deprived groups within the nation. One of the weaknesses of this approach is the way terminology is used. Even though the Peruvian government has increased its public expenditures on social services, the lack of targeting has prevented the people in need from enjoying the benefits of programs ( UNDP, 2000) . As stated in the UNDP report (2000), the highest percentages of the total social expenditures ( 33%) goes to rehabilitations of roads, infrastructure and small scale environmental programs ( UNDP, 2000 p. 128). There is very little on the national budget that is destined to build capacities among the poor through an effective education system.
Some public institutions which this leaner contacted for the purpose of this research paper did not agree to provide information on the current polices or programs. This represents a limitation to the study as it creates a barrier for accessing primary data and further evaluation reports. There has not been a national or regional census in Peru since 1993, and all the data is based on statistical projections or small scale studies conducted separately by different public institutions. This creates confusion scenario as statistics do not match among various sources.
Poverty among women and children in Andean Highlands is a complex and widespread phenomenon. Economic and social inequities have widened due to the fact that the benefits of a greater GPD are shared by only 20% of the population, leaving the other 80% far behind ( Save the Children, 2002). The possibility to be and/or remain poor is linked to the geographical living area and the cultural background. People who live in rural areas have more than twice the tendency to be .and/or / remain poor ( INEI, 2005 ). For example in 2001, from the 23% of the national estimated population that resided in the Andean rural areas, 83.4% were poor; while Lima, the biggest city in Peru held 40% of the total national population and had 32.3% of them living in poverty ( INEI, 2005). The migratory patterns in the country are Andes / Jungle to Coast and/or rural to urban which means that the population is the most isolated and deprived areas of the country. At this time it is important to establish that there are no welfare programs or unemployment benefits systems implemented in the country. This leads to increase of the vulnerabilities of the populations to become economically poor. Poverty diminishes children's present and future living standard, and has an inclusive and productive performance within a society ( UNICEF, 2005). Child welfare needs to be recognized and addressed not as priority but as a necessity in the process of developing strategies to combat poverty in a more effective way. Helping children to develop to their full potential fosters a self-reliance grow and lessons future dependency on social programs .
Alarcon, W. ( 2004). Genero y Trabajo Infantil. Working paper. Lima . IPEC
Attanasio, Ol. & Szekely, M. ( 2001). Portrait of the poor. New York. John Hopkins University Press.
INEI ( 2005). Report of the situation of children and adolescents in Peru. Retrieved on March 28, 2010 from http:/ / www.inei.gob.pe/reports.pdf
Skidmore, T. & Smith, P. ( 2001). Modern latin America, 5th ed . New York. Oxford University Press.
UNDP ( United Nation Development Program) ( 2000). Overcoming human poverty, Poverty Report 2000. New York. UNDP