Soup kitchens, women and social policy: studies from Peru

In 1996 the Peruvian NGOs ALTERNATIVA, FOVIDA and INCAFAM spoke to many soup kitchen members, all women, to establish how they felt about the work and the future of the kitchens. The author reports on the connected activities sometimes run by these organisations, and on the benefits members have received from their membership, including discussions of capacity and skills built, changes in gender relations in households, and the sense of social and personal recognition for work. The women interviewed also identified difficulties, including reconciling work with the demands of motherhood. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.