The treatment of women is different in all countries. It is important to pay attention to and recognize the differences in the way that women are treated compared to the way that men are treated. In the United States, there is a lot of controversy around the thought that women should be treated equally and the idea that women can work just as hard as men. It is these thoughts and these identities that women are given that make them feel any less of a person or make them feel like they are not able to accomplish something just because they are female. This is not only a problem in the United States, but so many other countries as well, women every day are struggling to be treated fairly and feel their importance in the world. This is why feminist movements and organizations for women are so important. It is important that people are always fighting for women’s rights and supporting women to show them their worth and show them that they can do whatever it is that they set their minds to. It can be interesting to look into women’s rights and feminist movements in other countries, as well as study these countries and see how women are being treated and how women are thought of in these countries. One of the main focal points when studying these countries is looking at whether or not they are developed or underdeveloped countries. Looking at this shows researchers that where you live does in fact affect the way that your country handles issues like feminism. “Feminism for me was and remains a movement for equal rights and opportunities for men and women, in addition to being a struggle against patriarchy rooted in different cultures in different ways.” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Researchers cannot compare a developed country to an underdeveloped country when looking at the ways in which they are working to establish a feminist movement.
Brazil has one of the largest, most diverse, and successful women’s movements in Latin America. The support and constant engagement of women fighting for their rights helped to get Brazil to the position it is today when it comes to women’s rights. Brazil’s government listened to the women that wanted to see a change and they developed laws to put into place allowing women rights. The National Secretariat of Policies for Women is an organization allowed by the government to establish public policies to better the lives of all women in Brazil (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Another amazing opportunity offered to women by the Brazilian government is 120-day maternity leave, this leave also allows for women to still make money even while they are at home with their baby. Brazil is open to improvement and knows that there is still more to be done to better the lives of women.
There are many important laws that have been passed throughout the history of Brazilian women. It begins with the constitution of 1824 which gave the emperor much control over things like the legislature and provincial governments and this lasted until 1889 when the Republic of Brazil was formed. “citizen was just a man. The woman could not vote or be elected. I could work in private companies, but I couldn’t be a civil servant” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Women were still not allowed to vote at this time and slavery was prohibited.
The constitution of 1934 establishes the equality of all people. “It enshrined, for the first time, the principle of equality between the sexes” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Both men and women were viewed as equal and the importance of equality was noticed. No one person will have privileges over another just because of their birth, sex, race, social class, wealth, or religious beliefs. Due to this law, there is no longer as strong of a gender divide of unpaid care labor. Men and women are doing the same jobs and more men and Brazilians are seeing a change in the way things used to be. Men and women are viewed as equal, but they also realize that equality should exist within their homes as well. “ I see that in my parents’ generation and back, there are still more women doing the housework and taking care of the children, even when the father and the mother work, Now in my circle of friends, and in the younger generations, I already see a more just division in these tasks. I particularly cannot stand to see a man not taking his plate off the table after he eats, or not washing his dishes, or any household chores, as if it is written somewhere that they are free of it all” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020) The constitution of 1934 “prohibits wage differences for the same job due to sex” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). This law also states that Brazilians over the age of 18, of both sexes, who enlist in accordance with the law are considered voters. Medical and health assistance to both the worker and the pregnant women are offered, ensuring that the mother gets to rest before and after childbirth without having to worry about prejudice to salary and employment. “Brazil is a wonderful county, ‘blessed by God and beautiful by nature. Like a song the(sic), we have said (sic). I consider myself lucky to be Brazilian and to have grown up in a conscious family and in a developed region, with that, with more informed people. And I also feel free to be whoever I want. Even though some types of people still judge a woman for being free, confident, and powerful. But speaking of Brazil as a whole, I think that there is still a high level of violence against women and macho behaviors that need to be eliminated from society.” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Women are proud to be from Brazil and be from a place that cares for its women.
Female genital mutilation is the partial or total removal of a woman’s external genitalia or other injuries to the genital organs. FGM can cause women to experience many different dangerous and painful situations. “Female genital mutilation is a crime. I have no words to describe how sad I get, knowing that there are places that still practice this”. (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Although Brazil is not a country that practices FGM, the people of Brazil have strong opinions on it.
In 1985 Brazil begins to see the first women’s police station. DEAM (Police Station for Specialized Services for Women) is founded in Sao Paulo and shortly after, other units begin to be implemented in other states in Brazil. These specialized services help to protect and investigate crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault against women. This was very important for women, as it was one of the first places for women to go when they were in need of help. Milena was born in Sao Paulo and finds this to be a major milestone and she is proud of her city. In 2002 “lack of virginity” is no longer viewed as a crime. Lack of virginity refers to women who are not virgins when they get married. Brazilian Civil Code no longer allowed men to get an annulment of his marriage if they found that his wife was not a virgin before they married. (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). In 2006 the Maria da Penha Law was created and is one of the most important achievements for Brazilian women. This law aims to reduce domestic violence by increasing the punishment for domestic abuse offenders. It is also required by this law that Brazilian authorities allow 24-hour shelters for victims of domestic violence within their households. Maria de Penha created this law after she was almost killed by her abusive husband and was left paraplegic. Before this law, domestic violence was considered to be a crime of low potential offensive, that has been changed and women believe that they have been ‘saved by the law’. Maria is now known as the woman who changed Brazil’s domestic violence law.
The approval of the Femicide Law is another important law passed in Brazil. Femicide is the killing of a woman or girl, particularly by a male on account of her gender. In 2015, femicide was finally classified as a homicide crime. “It is worth remembering that, three years after the law was created, the number of cases of women killed in Brazil only grows and black girls are still the biggest victims” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Although this law was passed, Brazil still saw an increase in women being killed and black women became the target. In 2011, one of the most exhilarating things happened for women in Brazil. The first female president of Brazil was elected, Dilma Rousseff. In August of 2016, Rousseff was impeached for breaking budget laws and also did not receive enough votes from the senate. “In this case, it was not about man or woman, but politics. Being able to have a female president is a victory for women who until a few years ago could not even vote. But in this specific case, she did not represent me as a voter. And it has to do with ideas and not with sex” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Although women were excited to see one of their own in office, not everyone agreed with what she represented. It wasn’t until 2018 that female sexual harassment became a crime. Every day women experience sexual harassment on the bus, in cars, at the grocery store, at work, etc. and Brazil has in the last few years classified it as a crime.
In 2011, Dilma Rousseff favored the legalization of abortion in Brazil. Brazil feels very strongly about abortion being a crime and Rousseff’s favor for it lost her many voters. As of 2019, abortion is now only legal in cases of rape, incest, to save a mother’s life, and fatal conditions that infants are both with that leave them missing parts of their brain or skull (Malta et al., 2019). Some people in Brazil still commit this crime, they just do it in inappropriate places and do it secretly.
Many women consider themselves to be feminists, but not every woman has the same reason for why they are a feminist and what influenced them to feel so strongly about feminism. One from the United States may say that they are a feminist for a cultural reason and someone from Brazil may say the same thing, but the experiences are different because of the difference in the treatment of women. “…because it is still necessary. More for the cultural issue. When women are still judged for the clothes they wear and raped because of it if there are still women earning less than a man doing the same job. Or if a man has certain attitudes and is considered ok, but when a woman (sic) has the same attitudes and is judged” (M. R. A Kranstuber, 2020). Brazil already has such a strong feminist movement, but because of that, women still feel that they need to constantly be supportive and they know that not everyone is always going to agree with laws that have been put in place in Brazil regarding women’s rights.
Brazil has a very strong feminist movement and will continue to do some if they keep up the support and appreciation for their women. The constant and continuous fight to provide its woman with the best resources and fair opportunity is what proves the stable feminist movement. The importance of this strong movement is that it shows other countries that they too can be supportive and listen to their women and work with them to create laws that provide women with the lives they want to live. This beautiful country has put so much effort into the rights of its women and will continue to do so when there are things that need to be changed. For years Brazil has been passing laws that create a safe and supportive country for its people. Women now have the right to vote, they have established services for women who are victims of abuse, women receive 12-day maternity leave, and do not have to worry about not making money while being away. These opportunities for women are why Brazil has such an amazing feminist movement.