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She says we need to change the conversation about women being seen as objects or as less than men, at all levels of society, including in schools and the media.

“We need to start representing women as fully capable human beings, independent and deserving of the same opportunities and respect as men,” Ms Huaynates says.

Cecilia Bravo Huaynates from Peru has won the inaugural Aiia Maasarwe Research Scholarship.

Cecilia Bravo Huaynates from Peru has won the inaugural Aiia Maasarwe Research Scholarship.Credit:La Trobe University

The joint university-state government scholarship will fund four years of a PhD that Ms Huaynates will start next month at La Trobe.

She will investigate online activism, including posts and comments about Ms Agreda’s murder.  The crime made global headlines and in Peru led to public protests and calls for policies to end machismo culture and stop acceptance of widespread violence against women.

There was further outrage at Peru’s president Martin Vizcarra’s comment that, while the attack on Ms Agreda was vile, “sometimes those are the designs of life and we have to accept it”.

Ms Huaynates says online activism could play a key part in changing “patriarchal discourses and ideologies that are still deeply embedded in our society” which “usually objectify women or represent them as being less than men”.

She says gender based violent crimes – there were more than 380 femicides in Peru in 2016 – had become more visible in her home country thanks to media coverage and protests by feminist groups.

Her research will examine the social role of the Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) activist group, whose Facebook page raises gender equity issues, announces protests and makes statements against gender-based violence.

La Trobe University vice chancellor Professor John Dewar says the scholarship will further our understanding of gender and violence.

In a statement Ms Maasarwe’s family said: “We wish for no one to go through a tragic experience like the one we had.

“Through this scholarship Aiia will forever contribute to improve the lives of women and girls across the world.”

International student Aiia Maasarwe was killed in Melbourne.

International student Aiia Maasarwe was killed in Melbourne.Credit:ninevms

Ms Huaynates, who has previously studied linguistics, and studied a Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at La Trobe, said by email that receiving the scholarship is “an honour and a blessing”.

She hopes to do justice to Aiia’s memory “and to all those who are not with us anymore”.

Carolyn Webb is a reporter for The Age.

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