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Workers Rights and Social Movements

The Workers Rights Movement in Brazil

Module

This collection of resources offer a fresh insight into Brazil and its social, racial and women workers’ movements.

Often better known for football and carnival, Brazil is a country which has experienced some of the World’s most vibrant and radical social movements.

Social movements are playing a key role in the re-democratisation of the country and Brazilian policies on sexual rights, domestic work, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS are amongst the most progressive in the world.

The Brazilian feminist movement is widely regarded as the largest, most radical, diverse and politically influential in South America. Feminist advocacy and involvement in the policy process has led to new laws promoting gender equality. Brazil now has participatory conferences and councils, involving hundreds of thousands of Brazilian women, whose voices are no longer silent.

The Workers Party have brought about a number of changes which have benefited Brazilian women, especially black women and the poorest. Yet despite these gains, there still remain significant challenges and racial inequality.

It continues to be very difficult for women to enter political office. In contrast with other Latin American countries like Argentina and Costa Rica, Brazil has very few women in municipal, state or national level government. Despite the adoption of a quota law, which increased the percentage of women in political roles, men still fill 91% of the seats in the Brazilian National Congress.

As hard as it is for women to get elected, it is harder still for black, working class women. Black women occupy only 0.1% of the seats in the National Congress, and face huge barriers in accessing political positions. In recent years however, there has been more of a push to get women elected into government and more and more women from all racial groups are now entering politics.

Follow the story of Creuza Oliveira and Negra Jho and explore these unique and engaging resources, as they delve into issues of domestic work, politics, race, hair and empowerment.