Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date

Fall 10-1-2016


This paper contrasts the life of Incan women before and after the Spanish conquest of Peru by Pizarro. Spanish colonization of Peru had a significant, negative impact on Incan women, across social, economic, and religious sectors. Before the conquest, women held fairly complimentary, rather than subordinate roles to men in society. Spanish rule introduced a strict patriarchy, which reduced Incan women to second-class citizens. The Spanish exploited women within the economy, and destroyed the once revered female religious institutions. Examining women in conquest history provides an intimate look at gender and power relations, socio-economics, and the shifting familial and cultural roles within post-conquest Peru.