Black and Poor Women Project

Supporting social integration and improvements in living conditions for black women and women from the populist movements who live in poverty in the North and Northeast Regions of Brazil is the central aim of the Black and Poor Women Project: Charting Pathways, Constructing Rights, run by CESE and SOS Corpo – Feminist Institute for Democracy (SOS Corpo – Instituto Feminista para a Democracia), with funding from the European Union.

The proposal also aims to strengthen the leadership of this target audience in public debates within Brazilian society and in the social participation processes that relate to government social inclusion policies for women and the black population.

Support provided to projects seeks to involve a wide diversity of social sectors in which black women and women from the populist sectors are found, including youth groups, the LGBT population, quilombola communities, Candomblé communities and other traditional populations. It also seeks to stimulate networking between black women’s and indigenous women’s networks.

Training and networking activities and meetings for policy advocacy and to promote communication activities in partner organizations and networks are also included in the proposal.

First steps
Salvador (Bahia) hosted the initiative’s first meetings, which began in February 2015. On 9 April, leaders from the North and Northeast came together in CESE’s auditorium to discuss political reform and mechanisms to guarantee greater representation in arenas of decision making and power for black women and women from the populist movements.

The round table debate was attended by ex-Minister of the Department of Policies for the Promotion of Racial Equality (Secretaria de Políticas de Promoção da Igualdade Racial: SEPPIR), Luiza Bairros; Sílvia Camurça, representing the Brazilian Women’s Coalition (Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras: AMB) and Maria das Dores do Rosário Almeida, as known as Durica, from the Network of Black Brazilian Women’s Organizations (Articulação de Organizações de Mulheres Negras Brasileiras: AMNB). The debate was mediated by CESE’s Projects Advisor Rosana Fernandes. The event was attended by approximately one hundred representatives from the movements, social organizations and the public authorities.

On 10 and 11 April, a seminar was held, attended by approximately 40 leaders, to share information and knowledge about black women’s organizations and populist movements in the North and Northeast of Brazil and to collectively construct elements to make a situational analysis of these movements.

The official launch of the Black Women and Populist Movements Project took place on 13 April and was attended by Denise Verdade, representative of the European Union in Brazil; Analba Brazão from the Brazilian Women’s Coalition and SOS Corpo; and Rosana Fernandes, CESE’s Projects Advisor, who together formed the panel for the opening ceremony. Reflections were also presented by Maria de Lourdes Tavares, from the Black Women’s Institute of Amapá; Marta Leiro, from the Calafate Women’s Collective; Vilma Reis, member of the Council for the Development of the Black Community; Valdeci Nascimento, from the Odara Institute and the Network of Black Women from the Northeast; as well as human rights activists.