Women's rights are
fundamental human rights
In Brazil, a woman is murdered every 6 hours.
In the year 2023, the Brazilian femicide numbers became known worldwide and published after the local Public Security Forum recorded a significant increase compared to the previous year. Last year, 74,930 rapes were reported, with most of the victims being women - 8 per hour. However, presumably less than 10% of all rapes are reported. The assaults often occur within the home environment and also affect many minors and even toddlers. The pandemic led globally to victims and perpetrators being locked in together.
Brazil has a long history of being a male-dominated country, although nowadays many women are active in all professions, universities, and politics. However, under the Bolsonaro government, there have been setbacks that will take years to correct. The former president Bolsonaro has publicly expressed his willingness several times to rape "beautiful" women.
"2003, Bolsonaro told the representative Maria do Rosário Nunes from the left-wing Workers' Party (PT) to her face: 'I would never rape you, you don't deserve it.' Then he pushed her and called her a 'slut.' In 2014, the former president (2018-2021) repeated the insult from the podium of the Chamber of Deputies on International Human Rights Day."
Brazilian women no longer want to be victims!
In Brazil, over 50% of voters are female, half of whom are Afro-Brazilian. Before the mandatory elections in 2021, many of them joined a movement called "Ele não" (Not him). Women's groups demonstrated daily throughout the country and played a significant role in ousting Bolsonaro.
Under the new president Lula, the situation regarding women's issues has indeed improved somewhat, but the government is still dominated by right-wing male society. This has led to little financial assistance being provided against domestic violence and no action being taken in many of the federal states.
This once more leaves it up to women themselves to fight for justice.
In northeastern Brazil, mainly traditional communities live along the coast and they are located in over 100 marine protected areas, called RESEX ("Reserva Extrativista or ‘extractive reserve").
Many of them also belong to the traditional group of "Quilombolas", former African slaves.
Traditional fisherwomen organize themselves against domestic violence.
Known as "Marisqueiras", traditional fisherwomen are usually the main providers for their families. They catch various crustaceans such as natural oysters, crabs and shrimp in the mangrove areas. They spend hours wading in the water and then sell their catch in nearby cities.
These Marisqueiras often live in remote areas and have limited information about their rights. For example, many of them do not realise that they can also say "no" to sexual intercourse in marriage.
To spread awareness of their rights among their colleagues, the female fishermen from RESEX Canavieiras have been actively engaged in combating domestic violence for a few years now. They organize courses on women's rights.
She is a member of the board of the marine protected area RESEX, the fishing cooperative AMEX, and is involved in the women's community of Marisqueiras in her community "Campinhos".
Gesiani Souza Leite
She is the coordinator of the Brazilian RESEX Women, lives in RESEX Canavieiras, and is currently studying sociology.
She lives in the Amazon region in the RESEX Caeté Taperaçu and is the coordinator of women in the Brazilian fishing collective.
The "Marisqueira" women's group is currently facing financial challenges, but they are not giving up and are doing everything they can to raise some money to keep going. One reason for the lack of international financial support, for example from Europe, is certainly due to the global fight against femicide, because of which NGOs allocate their resources primarily to projects in their own countries.
Femizid in Argentina
von Charlotte Eichhorn aus
In Argentina, the official numbers for femicides and rapes are slightly lower, but according to reports from the press, state agencies such as the police are often involved in these crimes. It is unclear how the situation will develop under newly elected President Milei, who is considered far-right and publicly made a mockery of women's rights and threatened with a ban on abortion during his election campaign. Brazil's former President Bolsonaro serves as his role model.
Many white Argentinians and international companies consider the forests as valuable resources, which leads to deforestation, mineral extraction, and consequently the displacement of the indigenous populations. This development is unlikely to improve under "economist" Milei.
Today, it is recognised worldwide that these communities have difficulty surviving without their traditional forest areas - partly due to their spiritual worldview Forests are of great importance to their quality of life and they have been fighting for housing and land rights in Argentina for decades.
Indigenous identity loss leads to violence in the family
This situation causes frustration among traditional indigenous men, as they can no longer feed their families through hunting and often lack other job opportunities. This insecurity is further intensified by the influence of a partially digitized world in their villages, especially through cell phones, causing them to oscillate between the traditional and modern worlds and not always knowing how to deal with it. Some men then take out their frustration on their wives and family.
There are many indigenous women, especially in remote Mby'a-Guaraní communities, who are not organized. For them, there is often no information or protection from violence.
politically engaged, Argentinian indigenous women
Mangroves, indigenous identity
and women's power
Despite the exceptional women, indigenous communities traditionally have an almost exclusively male-dominated patriarchal social structurein which the "Cacique", in the very truest sense of the word "the chief", has the power over the fate of abused women,adolecentes and children and decides on possible punishments for the men.
Argentinian law only intervenes when deaths are reported.
For people outside indigenous communities, such as the white Argentinians, it is indeed a challenge to fully understand the way these millennia-old cultures and their rules are working. Indigenous people have their own traditions and customs that work for them, but are often unfamiliar and sometimes difficult to understand in our white world.
Men also fight against the abuse of women in Argentina
Dr Javier and Cacique Hilario are now trying to counteractuch abuse within a European, church-based programme with a lot of EU funding and continue to have "less serious" crimes against women resolved by a better-informed community:
Dr Javier, Doctor
For years responsible for indigenous Mby'a communities in public health service
with a keen interest in their culture.
Three years ago, he was included in the Fundación Hora de Obrar program, along with many other employees, which seeks to improve the quality of life in indigenous communities.
was expelled as a child from Capij Tapui, his village in the forest. Today, he and his Mby'a-Guaraní community live in Takuapi, outside the settlement of the Swiss emigrant village Ruiz de Montoya in Misiones/ Argentina.
He is the representative of 13 other Mby'a-Guaraní communities and is also involved in the program of Fundación Hora de Obrar.
Dr. Javier is convinced that violence prevention only works through improving the quality of life in all areas, and is also crucial for the survival of Mby'a-Guaraní communities like Takuapi. While new water pipelines, electricity supply, and a diet adapted to the modern world are helpful, he places special emphasis on adult education, capacity planning and optimal utilization of existing resources.
Indigenous communities will probably no longer receive financial support from the Argentine government in the near future, and their "land and housing rights" will be further diluted or abolished. The communities will likely become even more dependent on NGOs. This is partly due to the devaluation of the already weakened Argentine peso by 50% under the Milei government, as well as his threat to cancel general social benefits. Current figures show that almost half of all Argentinians living below the poverty line.