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In Brazil, Only 9% of Congress Members Are Women

Yesterday was World Population Day. The theme of the celebration this year was gender equality and empowerment, which are among the Millennium Development Goals set by members of the United Nations to be achieved by the year 2015.

The event was celebrated in Brasí­lia, capital of Brazil, with a discussion of gender and race rights promoted by the UN Population Fund.


Cleide de Oliveira Lemos, a legislative consultant at the Senate, pointed out that although there are more women than men in Brazil, only 8.2% of the deputies in the Chamber of Deputies, and 9.9% of the Senators, are female.


Marcia Milhomens, a public prosecutor, who set up the country’s first Women’s Defense Court, said that domestic violence continues to be a problem.


She cited data that showed that every 15 seconds a woman in Brazil is attacked. She said that frequently the victims are so ashamed of what has happened to them that they do not press charges.


Liège Rocha, of the Special Secretariat for Women Policies, cited the First National Conference on Women Policies in July of 2004 as the highlight of the government’s efforts in achieving gender equality in Brazil.


She said a concrete result of the conference was the launch of a policy plan for women in December, 2004.


ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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