UTM Celebrates International Women's Day: Andrea Román Alfaro

Andrea Roman Alfaro

Andrea Román Alfaro is a Peruvian scholar and activist completing her PhD in sociology at U of T. Motivated by her own experience growing up in neighbourhoods deemed “problematic,” Andrea’s research sheds light on the complex dynamics shaping communities affected by violence, with a focus on the experiences of women and young people. 

Andrea recently published an article in the sociology journal Gender & Society alongside UTM sociologist Jerry Flores. Their research examined police responses to violence against Indigenous women and revealed police indifference as a common thread based on interviews and personal statements from the Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The findings highlight the urgent need for improved accountability and effectiveness in law enforcement practices. Andrea believes that this research can inform future policy initiatives aimed at addressing violence against Indigenous women. 

Andrea is also leading a research project in Callao — one of the most dangerous regions in Peru. This initiative, supported by the Connaught PhD for Public Impact Fellowship Program, empowers young people to examine their neighbourhoods through photography. The images captured were recently featured in a curated photo exhibit, prompting discussions on community perception. Next, the project will use these photos to conduct interviews and focus groups to understand how children feel about their neighbourhood and how they build a sense of place and autonomy, despite challenges and constraints in their environment. 

We are excited to follow Andrea’s journey and see the significant contributions she will make to academia and beyond. Her research — rooted in empathy, understanding and empowerment —will have a meaningful impact on the field of sociology and the communities she supports.