Blogging for Mulheres do Brasil

Monday, 25 July 2011

Today I'm blogging in support of ActionAid Brasil's new initiative, Mulheres do Brasil - Women in Brazil.

Through raising awareness about the particular challenges affecting women in Brazil, ActionAid is hoping that it can do more to help combat poverty, lack of access to education, sexual violence and domestic abuse with this new campaign.

When I visited Brazil earlier this year I spent plenty of time talking to some of the women ActionAid helps support and it was clear that there is a need for more focus on gender equality and tackling deeply ingrained problems. Everyone we spoke to was agreed - domestic violence is a major issue; economic inequality is a big worry. In fact, domestic violence is the leading cause of death for Brazilian women aged between 16 and 44, killing more than car accidents and cancer - and it is estimated that more than a million women are victims of abuse there every year. Although pioneering legislation like the Maria da Penha law - recently recognised by UN Women as a landmark reform in the struggle to end VAW - is making a difference for many women, domestic violence is still seen as a private matter which is kept hidden by families and communities, and a decrease in the number of incidents has not been seen for a decade.

ActionAid is monitoring the effects of anti-VAW legislation, funding training and education so that women can set up businesses and generate their own income using local resources, and running courses on equality and citizenship to help them become more aware of their rights and the opportunities available to them. This is vital work and I've seen first-hand that it's successful and providing inspiration and motivation to many, as well as the skills and knowledge to fight gender inequality, and help women to be independent, get back on their feet and provide for their families.

I'm blogging about this today not just because I feel it's important but also because I hope that it might encourage some of you to look into the work ActionAid Brasil is doing to help women and promote equality, take part in today's blogging or even consider offering your support by making a donation. Check out the #mulheresdobrasil hashtag on Twitter or ActionAid Brasil's tweets for more information and further blog posts.

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