Racism raises its ugly head almost everywhere, even in the most unexpected places. A study by the Brazilian Applied Economic Research Institute (Ipea) and the UN Development Fund for Women (Unifem) has found that in Brazil 21% of black women work as maids and 23% of them are legally registered workers with benefits.
On the other hand, 12.5% of white women work as maids, but 30% of them get the labor and social benefits that come with being legally registered.
"We know that blacks tend to be poorer than whites, and black women are the poorest of the poor. That shows up in the study. We can see the details and will use the information for policy decisions," says the minister of Racial Equality (Secretaria Especial de Políticas de Promoção da Igualdade Racial), Matilde Ribeiro.
Everywhere the study looked there was discrimination: in education, jobs, access to goods and services. In all of them black women got the short end.
For example, salaries of black women and white men who perform similar tasks present a difference of around 30%. As for unemployment, it is 8.3% for whites and 16.6% among blacks.
The latest available statistics from the government statistical bureau (IBGE) is its Household Survey of 2003.
It found that out of the country’s 174 million inhabitants, 52% declared that they are white, and while 47.3% said they were not white, it is interesting to note that the vast majority of them declared themselves to be brown (41%) and only 6% said they were black.