Brazilian Black Female Workers Make Half As Much As White Women

Black and mulatto women in Brazil receive, on the average, around half of what white female workers are paid. This is one of the findings of a survey conducted by the Special Secretariat for Women’s Policies, based on data gathered between July and September, 2005, in six Brazilian capitals.

According to the study, the biggest difference exists in the city of Salvador, Bahia, where black women receive, on the average, 1.9 minimum wages [monthly], compared with the approximately 4.6 minimum wages earned by white women.

A minimum wage is equivalent to around US$ 130. In Rio de Janeiro, where white female workers receive 3.6 minimum wages, their black counterparts earn half this amount.

The Special Secretariat’s undersecretary of Planning, Ângela Fontes, believes that the data demonstrate that there is still racial prejudice in Brazilian society.

"Historically, these women were deprived of schooling and job training. To a great extent they are engaged in informal jobs and the market for domestic workers," she commented.

According to Fontes, the data indicate that the government should make a greater effort on the issue of race and gender, investing in schooling, job training for women, and raising awareness about workers’ rights.

The study, which was completed in December, covered the cities of Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Recife, and Porto Alegre. The research was based on data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics’ (IBGE) Monthly Employment Survey.

Agência Brasil

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Grr

    Dear Doubtful Numbers…
    Have you checked your own numbers? Let’s see:
    570.00 reais 1,380.00 reais = 1950.00 which, if you divide by 2 = 975.
    Pretty close to the number you mentioned after, 980 reais, isn’t it?
    That’s why it’s called an AVERAGE. You sum the top and the bottom to reach a middle number.
    Please, check your information before starting claiming something is “dead wrong.”

  • Jaz

    Disparity in women’s wags
    This fact that white people make more money for the same job is true in other countries as well. I live in America where there is great disparity in the wages between whites and people of color. Brazil is just beginning to deal with an age old problem of wage discrimination. It exists in America, it exists in Europe and I’m sure that it exists in Brazil.

  • Guest

    Doubtful numbers !
    Doubtful that in Bahia, black women make on average 1.9 minimum wages or Reais 570.- per month.
    Doubtful that in the same city, white women earn on average 4.9 minimum wages or Reais 1380.

    WHY ?

    Because the average income in Brazil for those in work was Reais 980.- per month in November 2005, according to IBGE.

    Do white women make more than the national average, knowing that women earn a third less on average than male ?

    Something is wrong ! DEAD WRONG !

    Or is it the IBGE numbers that are DEAD WRONG ?

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