The President of Brazil, Michael Temer, Temer sanctioned bills into law for the benefit of Brazilian women this month of May (2017). The first bill sanctioned inscribes Zuleika Angel Jones, also known as Zuzu Angel and one of the most important and innovative Brazilian designers, in the Book of “Heroes and Heroines of the Motherland”.
The second amends the Penal Code to prohibit the use of shackles on pregnant women during childbirth and the postpartum period. The third established the August as National Breast-feeding Month. The fourth amends the Statute for the Protection of Children and Adolescent (ECA) to assure nursing mothers the right to follow-up and guidance regarding breast-feeding.
The last creates the National Week of No Violence against Women to be celebrated in November. For President Temer, the bills signed into law benefit women and reaffirm their role in the development of the country. “Women are agents of change in the country. They are also the driving force behind great acts by the legislative branch over time,” he said.
According to a 2016 report from the nonprofit “Mapa da Violencia”, in Brazil, a woman is killed every two hours and assaulted every 15 seconds, and often by someone she knows. Gender violence has skyrocketed, in particular, in states of Northeast region. According to the Observatory of Violence for the State Council on Human Rights, violence against women in the northeast state of Rio Grande do Norte, as example, has grown 39 percent in the last four years (2013-2016).
Murders generally are up in northern Brazil, as drug and gang violence takes its toll amid a security crisis. New laws have not deterred violent crime, with police and the courts failing to follow through. A lack of budget and facilities to protect women only makes things worse. Brazil has had a female president and high numbers of women are in the workforce. The fight for the respect and rights of women in Brazil is growing and continues. Thanks to women warriors and activists, little by little, we can see more advances in the social and work area.