November 25, International Day of Non-Violence against Women, a national fund was inaugurated as the first financial agency in Brazil for the funding of programs and projects to prevent and combat violence against women.
The National Fund for Non-Violence against Women, which aims to promote and support research and information on this theme, will by administered by the United Nations.
The vice-director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (Unifem-Brasil), Júnia Puglia, affirmed that the estimate is that resources “on the order of R$ 5 million” will be obtained over a 5-year period.
As part of the commemorations, 50 kits containing new equipment, such as two-way radio sets, pistols, handcuffs, and computers, were delivered to Special Police Precincts for Women.
It is expected that, by the end of 2006, another 100 precincts will be reoutfitted to receive a larger number of complaints.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, speaking recently at the opening of the First National Conference on Policy for Women, declared that after years of struggle, women in Brazil have made important gains, such as higher levels of education.
But, he admitted, there are still grave problems. The average salary of a woman is lower than that of a man doing the same work. Women are also frequently the victims of domestic violence.
Lula pointed out that studies show that one out of every three women has been the victim of some kind of violence.
Lula went on to say that his administration is trying to promote equality between the sexes through government policies, such as the Program for Prevention and Combat of Violence against Women, a law that requires first aid stations to report cases of violence against women, and a special rural credit line for family farming.
Lula added that deeds to land acquired through government land reform programs are now issued in the names of both husband and wife.
Finally, Lula got a big round of applause when he said that in most arguments women are right.
“They do not have to scream. They are different from us and do not have to resort to bravados. And we have to admit that most of the time they are right,” said the President.
Translator: David Silberstein