At Work and College Life Gets Tougher for Brazilian Women

The 2005 UN Population Fund report shows that worldwide there are 600 million women who are illiterate, compared to 320 million men in the same situation.

The report goes on to say that there is a relationship between women’s education, gender equality and poverty around the world because where there is education and equality, poverty levels drop.

But women continue to have their problems. In Brazil, and the world, there are more girls in elementary school than boys. In many parts of the world the predominance of women continues into high school.

And although more and more women are going into higher education, it is at the university level that a change begins to occur. And in the job market the change becomes drastic.

"Although women have the education, the training and, often, a university degree, they simply cannot get the same pay as men," explains Tânia Patriota, the Population Fund representative in Brazil.

The report also says that support from men is fundamental if there is to be gender equality. The study points out that male behavior is an important factor in controlling AIDS/HIV, as well as improving healthcare for women in gestation. The report also says that violence against women is a consequence of gender inequality.

Patriota says that an effort is being made in Brazil to make men "partners" in reducing gender inequalities.

"There is a lot of effort by various organizations to make men aware of the need for changes in male stereotypes which would result in reduced violence, aggression and dominance, and more dialogue and negotiation in the areas of health, like AIDS, and violence," she declared.

The 2005 UN Population Fund report points out that gender equality and women autonomy are objectives in the Millennium Goals program, emphasizing that they are seen as elements in the effort to reduce world poverty.

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