On its 20th anniversary, Brazil’s National Women’s Defense Council still faces the challenge of struggling for equal opportunities for women on the job market, in order to increase their economic independence and permit them the effective exercise of full citizenship.
This affirmation was made today by Minister Nilcéa Freire, of the Brazil’s Special Secretariat for Women’s Policies.
According to Freire, after two decades the balance sheet for women is positive, even though many future challenges remain. She said that Brazil is a very unequal country from the economic and social perspective and that, within this panorama of inequality, “women are the ones who accumulate the biggest disadvantages.”
The 20th anniversary of the Council is being commemorated, beginning today, with various ceremonies in Brasília, including debates, the installation of new councillors, and the launching of an incentive program for research and studies on gender inequalities.
With respect to violence against women, Freire said that the problem has become more visible and the level of awareness of the population has risen.
“This year we are also commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first special police precinct for women. The first social instrument to combat violence against women.”
For the Minister, this landmark opened the possibility of reporting this type of abuse, but “it is premature to affirm that the problem of violence against women has been resolved.”
With a view towards diminishing this social problem, the Minister emphasizes the need to follow the National Plan of Police for Women.
She also also urges the adoption of a national anti-violence policy that coordinates government programs, creating and implementing services to assist women who are victims of violence, carrying out prevention, and not just punishing the aggressors, but implanting in society the reinforcement of women’s self-esteem.