Note from BW of Brazil: Yesterday there was another in an ongoing series of discussions and seminars in regards to the necessity of creating policies that help to change the image of black women in Brazil’s media and in society in general. If you’re new to this blog, you might ask, why is this even necessary? If you’re a person who has always believed in Brazil’s “racial democracy” myth in which all the races are treated equally in a huge melting pot, then perhaps you not aware of the invisibility of black women in Brazilian literature, journalism, teen magazines, or modeling runways. Besides this invisibility, when black women are portrayed, they often associated with domestic work or sexual stereotypes, such as Brazil’s huge yearly Carnaval that puts gyrating black women on display for the world to see for a week after keeping them virtually invisible for the rest of the year. Besides the the association with domestic work and sexual stereotypes, unless they have a certain texture of hair, black women are also generally associated with negative images in terms of afro textured hair. Considering all of this, is there really any wonder why seminars of this sort are still necessary?
Minister says it’s necessary to change the image of black women in the media
“We believe it is important to reverse the negative image that people have of us [black women] in Brazilian society,” said Minister of the Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality and Luiza Bairros
São Paulo – The minister of the Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality, Luiza Bairros, participated on Tuesday, May 7, in the seminar Desenvolvimento e Mulher Negra (Development and Black Woman) in São Paulo. According to the minister, the department must develop, in favor of the black female population, integrated projects; the first of them regarding the empowerment of young people at work. “In the sense of creating e a project in which they are supported in choosing professions and careers that are not traditional for young black women,” said Luiza.
A second aspect is to support initiatives led by black women in communication. “We believe it is important to reverse the negative image that people have of us [black women] in Brazilian society,” she said. The minister said that the two projects should be implemented in the first semester. “It is an initiative in partnership with civil society to strengthen black women’s organizations in Brazil,” she said.
Luiza Bairros commented on the inflow of black students in São Paulo’s state universities. “I don’t agree in general with the format that was presented, but I think São Paulo society will take account of making a process of discussion so that affirmative action can be taken in São Paulo universities stripped of any kind of prejudice in relation to the black population,” said the minister.
The Minister of Racial Equality stressed the importance of access to education, especially after witnessing the changes that have happened in Brazil in the past 10 years and the process of economic and social advancement of the people involved, mostly the black population.
“The most interesting is that among black women, you notice the ability to seize opportunities,” she said. “This brings us a possibility of a very important reflection because when you look at the big numbers, racial inequalities still remain, and they are strong. And black women as a whole remain part of the segment that experiences more disadvantages in the Brazilian population.”