Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Only five days to go!! On November 18th, 20,000 black women will march on the nation’s capital!!!


Note from BW of Brazil: Unbelievable! It’s always amazing to see how time flies, especially when there is a lot of planning, organizing and participation of an upcoming event that you have monitored for some time. Over the last two years, we’ve kept you updated on an upcoming event that is guaranteed to be historical in the story of black Brazilian women: The first ever national black women’s march that is scheduled to take place in the nation’s capital on November 18th. In less than five days, black women from all over Brazil will take to the streets in the Federal District of Brasília to make a public stand against racism and violence in support of the well-being of the black population. The anticipation is mounting as important national and international figures are expected to lend their support to an event that seeks to focus the attention of the nation on the parcel of the population that is often neglected in so many areas of life even though their contribution to Brazilian history and society is monumental. As we continue the countdown, read below if you’re still uninformed about the reasons for this historic event!


20,000 black women will march on the nation’s capital on November 18th!!

Marcha das Mulheres Negras 2015 (Black Women’s March 2015)

“Come march with us!”

Courtesy of SOS Corpo

20 thousand black women from all regions of Brazil will be gathered in Brasília, to march against racism, violence and for well-being. In addition to the black women’s organizations, the mobilization will bring together members of the women’s movement and the feminist movement – like the Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras (Articulation of Brazilian Women)  – who are seeking to contribute to the act in Brasília, as well as the process in the states, strengthen black women’s organizations black women and the fight against racism in Brazil.

Women from the state of Santa Catarina organizing

Women from the state of Santa Catarina organizing

Marcha das Mulheres Negras Contra o Racismo, a Violência e pelo Bem Viver  (Black Women’s March Against Racism, Violence and for Well-Being) will be held in Brasília – DF (Federal District), on November 18, 2015, with a concentration starting at 9am at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. It will bring together some 20,000 women from all states and regions of Brazil to march for the guarantee of rights already conquested, for the right to life and liberty, for a more just and democratic country and for the defense of a new model based on the appreciation of the knowledge of Afro-Brazilian culture.

Black women in a political act in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

Black women in a political act in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais

In addition to this, to reaffirm the economic, political, cultural and social contribution of black women who constructed and construct daily Brazil. The march takes place within the International Decade of African Descendants  2015-2024 and the month of Black Consciousness.

Network of black women in Bahia

Network of black women in Bahia

Scheduled for this same day is a joint session of the Senado e Câmara Federal (Senate and the House of Representatives) and an audience with the President of the Republic, Dilma Rousseff. The Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former vice president of South Africa also confirmed her presence. Still expected, are the American activist Angela Davis and Bell Hooks, among other international references in the struggle for racial and gender equality.

Women of Cariri, Tocantins in a regional march

Women of Cariri, Tocantins in a regional march

The March is an initiative of various organizations and collectives of the Movimento das Mulheres Negras (Black Women’s Movement) and the Movimento Negro (Black Movement), in addition to having the support of important intellectuals, artists, activists, managers, communicators and references from various fields in Brazil, Latin America and Africa. Rural workers, pickers of recyclable material, fishers, seafood restaurants, quilombolas (maroon society residents), students, teachers and teachers of traditional culture, entrepreneurial, yalorixás, among other black women from various sectors of society will be present.

Regional march of black women in Rio de Janeiro

Regional march of black women in Rio de Janeiro

The proposal of the March emerged during the Encontro Paralelo da Sociedade Civil para o Afro XXI (Parallel of Civil Society for the Afro 21 Meeting) held in 2011 in Salvador, Bahia’s state capital. Since then, black women and black women’s social movement women answered the call and began mobilizations for the March. From 2011 to now, several actions were carried out between debates, workshops, demonstrations, training events, articulations on the local regional, national and international level.

Black women in São Paulo also organizing for the national march

Black women in São Paulo also organizing for the national march

The agenda for debate proposed by the social movements, especially, those of black women have sought to reflect and focus on the place of black women in society and the challenges of the fight against racism, poverty and under-representation in positions of power and decision. Issues related to the formal and informal labor market, productive, reproductive, confronting racial, physical, psychological, patrimonial and moral violence, domestic and sexual violence, genocide of the population have been discussed and need answers urgently, the reason for which the March will be a space for political training and political advocacy of great importance for the achievement and guarantee of black women’s rights throughout the national territory.


Why march?

According to the IBGE, black women account for 25% of Brazil’s total population, which corresponds to about 49 million people. Despite the advances of recent decades, such as the creation of the Secretaria de Políticas para as Mulheres (Secretariat on Policies for Women) and the Secretaria de Políticas de Promoção da Igualdade Racial (Secretariat of Policies for the Promotion of Racial Equality), black women still bemoan the worst rates in relation to access to public policies in a general manner . With the creation of these important organs in the first term of President Lula (da Silva), it was possible to move forward in terms of addressing the barriers to equal rights. Despite the marks inequality and ethnic-racial segregation still sustaining economic models of a racist character worldwide, based only on its interests in maintaining the exploitation and oppression of certain social groups.


When women overcome the unemployment barrier, they begin to experience the sexual division of labor, domestic violence and sexual harassment. Black women are even more discriminated against, since historically they have experienced historical disrespect to their body that is still violated and marginalized, feeding into more and more levels of assaults, rapes and murders.

Salvador, Bahia

Salvador, Bahia

According to the Instituto de Pesquisa Aplicadas – IPEA (Institute of Applied Research), 62% of victims of femicide are black women, a great part of them living in conditions of underemployment, even with school education and training, and also account for many of the heads of families. According to DIEESE, formal labor, there is a bitter wage gap of about 19% compared to non- black women and 46% compared with non-black men. And despite advances in labor legislation, women who work in domestic labor, about eight million women, don’t have the same conditions and opportunities as the rest of urban workers.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

With regard to violence, IPEA data, between 2009 and 2011, estimated that black, young and poor women, are the greatest victims of domestic violence. In Brazil, 61% of deaths are of black women (1), the main victims in all regions of the country except in the South. Noteworthy is the high proportion of deaths of black women in the Northeast (87%), North (83%) and Midwest (68%). 2012 data also indicate that 63% of women in a prison situation are black women.

According to the Ministério da Saúde (Ministry of Health), 60% of maternal mortality occurs among black women. With regard to medical care by SUS, 56% of pregnant pretas (black women) and 55% of pardas (brown women) affirm to having had less prenatal care than mulheres brancas (white women). Regarding breastfeeding, the orientations only reached 62% of black women, while 78% of white women had access.


It is emphasized that the scope of the Metas de Desenvolvimento do Milênio (Development Goals of the Millennium), that propose to eradicate maternal mortality, Brazil failed to reach the goals, and the predominant factor in the high rates occurred primarily due to negative data on maternal mortality of black women.

Besides the March, a Feira de Empreendedoras Negras (Black Entrepreneurs Faur), debates, conferences, cultural shows and concerts at the Complexo Cultural do Museu Nacional da República (Cultural Complex of the National Museum of the Republic), are expected from November 13 to 17.


Black Women Women’s March 2015 | Date: November 18, 2015 | Concentration: The concentration will be from 9am, in the vicinity of the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. The planned route will proceed to the National Congress and the closing the Complexo Cultural do Museu da República, in Brasília.

Countdown clock from official website at 4:45pm

Countdown clock from official website at 4:45pm

Read the complete manifesto here and keep up with the mobilizations at the address:

More information by e-mail: | Contacts: Ionara Silva (55) 61 9657-7741/Naiara Leite (55) 71 9198-7892|

Source: SOS Corpo


  1. Recent reports show these statistics over the past decade have gotten even worse. See here.

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