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Women's rights are
fundamental human rights

Charlotte Eichhorn  


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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.

(see documentary

from 2008)

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.

Lilian Santana

"Marisqueira (Fisherwoman)

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".

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Gesiani Souza Leite


She is the coordinator of the Brazilian RESEX Women, lives in RESEX Canavieiras, and is currently studying sociology.

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Marly Souza 




She lives in the Amazon region in the RESEX Caeté Taperaçu and is the coordinator of women in the Brazilian fishing collective.

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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.

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