MUSAS Perú, Women’s Initiative for Sexual Health, is a progressive queer organization whose mission is to educate and empower people, both patients and sexual health providers, on sexuality, gender, and sexual and reproductive health issues that concern women and the LGTBI community.
MUSAS Perú envisions a world where people have access to information about their sexual and reproductive health to make empowered choices. We envision a world where women and LGTBI people feel safe, enjoy the same rights as others, and receive respectful, quality sexual health care.
To achieve our goal of sexual health education and empowerment on issues that concern women and the LGTBI community, MUSAS Peru works to:
• Reach out to the most disenfranchised communities in Perú
• Train women and LGTBI people how to become leaders in their communities and teach others about sexuality and sexual and reproductive health
• Teach patients how to become active participants in their sexual and reproductive health
• Educate health care professionals about the specific needs of women and LGTBI patients
• Strengthen alliances between groups working on issues of sexuality and sexual and reproductive health throughout the country
Liz Cabrel initiated our activities in 2007 with an organization K'anchay Killa (vulvalucion.org) that works for Andean women's empowerment. From the review of our experiences based on the use of educational tools, development of our own methodologies and expressive art, we educate Peruvian patients and doctors about the sexual health care needs of women and LGTBI individuals. MUSAS Perú is a project of vulvalucion.org and formed in August 2009 by Liz Cabrel.
Women and queer people in rural areas asked us to share life-saving information and break the silence around topics of sexuality, gender, and sexual health. In many cases, women in rural areas do not have the opportunity to see gynecologists. Those women who do have access to seek gynecological care often do not because of mistreatment due to lack of information about sexual and reproductive health or lack of sensitivity on the doctors' part. For example, women are very afraid of the speculum portion of the pelvic exam because the majority of doctors do not use lubricant nor warm water to help guide the speculum’s insertion.
MUSAS Perú formed to empower women in their visits to the doctor, helping them voice their concerns and needs; ask questions; and obtain the care they deserve. We also teach health care professionals about women’s sexual and reproductive health needs, as well as those of LGTBI patients. Through presentations, educational videos, and participatory workshops, we help women and LGTBI people explore and feel empowered about their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health. Through our work with both patients and providers we are creating a world of quality sexual health care for women and the LGTBI community.