Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Health, education, employment and self-esteem: On the situation of black women in Brazil


A artista brasileira Angélica Dass está usando a conhecida escala de cores

Note from BW of Brazil: Many of the issues featured in today’s post have been topics discussed on this blog for nearly three years now, including the very question, “what is it to be a black woman in Brazil”? If you’ve followed this blog for any period of time, hopefully some of our informative articles have provided a little insight into the subject. It is always important to put a face on situation but sheer numbers often times paint an equally accurate picture. 

On the situation of black women in Brazil

Courtesy of Jornalismo Educativo

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HEALTH: A According to a study of women who gave birth in public and private hospitals, 25% reported some type of aggression and, among them, the black women revealed coarse treatment with discriminatory bias due to to their social status, skin color and also the refusal to provide relief for pain or the conducting of painful examinations.

Dr. Janaína Marques de Aguiar, in her studies, points out that besides youth and low social status, the darker the skin color, the greater the violence in childbirth.

In the public health system, the black woman is also less attended in essential exams, including breast exams. In women over 25, 46.3% of black women have never been screened against 28.7% of white women. As we see, besides maltreatment in the public health system, it is a clear lack of access to information for the black woman.

educacaoEDUCATION: A black woman in Brazil occupies a position which is basically an extension of her reality in the period of slavery. Few changes have occurred since then and her position remains the lowest in the social scale.

Of all surveys made ​​in Brazil up to today, that discuss the issue of education and have the racial perspective, the black woman is always among those with the lowest education level, that work the most and those with the lowest income. Practically half of black women work as domestics, and even when they can invest in education in the hope of upward social mobility, they end up taking jobs with lower incomes and little recognition in the market.

Already that minority that through much effort conquests better occupations needs to abdicate even more for leisure, motherhood and romantic relationships than their white comrades.

empregoEMPLOYMENT: In the early 2000’s the IPEA reported that the economically active population among black women was 14.3%, but the percentage of unemployment among them was as high as 20.3%.

They soon insert themselves in the labor market and even having schooling similar to their white  counterparts, the wage gap between them is at least 40% more for white women and 61% for white men. The unemployment rate among black women is higher, moreover, they are usually employed in precarious and informal jobs – 71% of cases versus 54% of white women.

FEMICIDE:

In an unpublished survey in Brazil the IPEA reported that the country recorded 16,900 femicides from 2009 to 2011, ie, a rate of 5.8 cases per 100 thousand women. The survey also found that the highest rate of murder of women were in the states of Espírito Santo at 11.24 per 100 thousand, followed by Bahia (9.08) and Alagoas (8.84).

The murders in 40% of cases are committed by partners and that number is 6.6 times higher than that of men killed by their partners. belezaAmong those deaths, 61% of those registered are of black women and this pattern is repeated for every state in the country except the South region. The North had 83% of deaths of black women, the Northeast reached 87% and the Center-West, 68%.

SELF-ESTEEM: The distortions and the absence of black women in the media in Brazil are literally a form of violence. The lack of positive reference places Afro-Brazilian women in invisibility and few recognize as such or have a positive self-image about themselves.

The constant transit of white women on the covers of Brazilian magazines, newspapers, novelas (soap operas), television series and journals unveils the national ideal of “perfection” and notes the European standard and normative whiteness historically adopted by the country.

"To be a black woman in this country is to be on constant alert. It's reinventing one's self inside of a wonderful geography, however under the dominion of a system that doesn't represent me, because I am a black working woman in a country that is racist, sexist and classist, in this order." - Luciana Fernanda da Silva, 26, teacher

“To be a black woman in this country is to be on constant alert. It’s reinventing one’s self inside of a wonderful geography, however under the dominion of a system that doesn’t represent me, because I am a black working woman in a country that is racist, sexist and classist, in this order.” – Luciana Fernanda da Silva, 26, teacher

"To be a black woman in Brazil is to be a warrior with losing tenderness. I don't like labels but I know that my ethnicity is the adjective, the qualification that most matters in the eyes of others. But I'm lucky to work in teaching helping to challenge, conquest my dreams and be more than 'labels'" - Lina Moreira, 44, publicity agent and coordinator of college course

“To be a black woman in Brazil is to be a warrior with losing tenderness. I don’t like labels but I know that my ethnicity is the adjective, the qualification that most matters in the eyes of others. But I’m lucky to work in teaching helping to challenge, conquest my dreams and be more than ‘labels'” – Lina Moreira, 44, publicity agent and coordinator of college course

"To be a black woman in Brazil is not easy. Women with the same position and education than many men earn less. We live in a sexist country where women are sexually violated and assaulted daily." - Estela do Nascimento, 37, elementary school teacher

“To be a black woman in Brazil is not easy. Women with the same position and education than many men earn less. We live in a sexist country where women are sexually violated and assaulted daily.” – Estela do Nascimento, 37, elementary school teacher

"I pride myself deeply in my condition of black woman and mother, however there is a great burden to carry everyday, a legacy of sexism and racism for centuries in Brazil. Everyday there is confrontation with this and the majority of people don't see or just pretend, in other words, the feeling of solitude is strong, besides the tension that explodes in the body." - Verônica Aline Matos Santos, 38, lawyer

“I pride myself deeply in my condition of black woman and mother, however there is a great burden to carry everyday, a legacy of sexism and racism for centuries in Brazil. Everyday there is confrontation with this and the majority of people don’t see or just pretend, in other words, the feeling of solitude is strong, besides the tension that explodes in the body.” – Verônica Aline Matos Santos, 38, lawyer

SourceJornalismo Educativo

2 comments on “Health, education, employment and self-esteem: On the situation of black women in Brazil

  1. Linda Jenkins
    November 5, 2014

    The wretched treatment of Black Women in Brazil is abhorring. This abomination must cease. The Black world is watching and we stand ready to support our Brazilian sisters. Until we are equal and valued everywhere, none of us enjoys those liberties. I am one Afro-Native woman in north America who cares deeply for her sisters across the diaspora. Let us link hands, arms and voices, in the name of Freedom and Equality.

  2. Duke Jones
    November 16, 2014

    Powerful Black financial forces globally { wherever they reside } need to unite, communicate on a strategy to secure and promote black positive images in every culture with large black populations. Magazines, tv shows, product advertising.
    No major black culture anywhere should be without positive black images displayed daily in its media.

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This entry was posted on November 2, 2014 by in Education, hair, Health, health care and tagged , , , , .
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