Written by Margarido
Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:45
The International Working Women’s Day was marked by the struggle against the injustices of the World Cup and the questioning on its spending.
The first Saturday after Carnival was purple and red. Brazilian streets of major cities were taken by working women and their flags. March 8th, the International Working Women’s Day, had been celebrated.
This was the first March 8th demonstrations after a new political situation in the country has opened, which started on the June days in 2013. Our struggles were clearly stated on the posters, banners and flags, such as the fight against violence and the “Rape Ticket”.
One of themain reasons that brought this political turmoil to Brazil is the hosting of the World Cup and the injustices promoted by that Mega event. Therefore, on March 8th, 2014 the struggle against the injustices of the World Cup and the questioning on its spending was always remembered by chants.
The sexist violence kills 15 women daily in Brazil. Every 2 minutes, five women are beaten. In 2012, more than 50,000 cases of rape were reported. 60% of women who are abused are black women.
Nevertheless, while more than US$ 13 billion of public funds has been invested to host the World Cup, the investment in programs combating violence against women doesn’t exceed US$ 11 million. If all the investments to combat violence against women madeby three terms of PT governments are added and divided by the Brazilian women population, the result is only 11 cents per capita in 10 years! In other words, a very insufficient amount to combat such a serious problem.
When prioritizingthe mega events and the banks, the government ends up favoring business owners and ignoring the harsh reality of working women who suffer daily with domestic and sexual violence.
Sexual tourism and prostitution
In countries that have already hosted the World Cup, sexual violence and prostitution increased, especially against teenagers. So much so that FIFA has produced a video to be played on airplanes coming from Europe and the U.S., to warn that child prostitution is a crime in Brazil. The “sex trade” will be heated and thousands of women will sell their bodies, most of them poor, young and black women, exposed to all kinds of violence. Transsexual women, for which the alternative of prostitution is very present in their lives, will also be a target of such violence. The bill (PL 4211/2012) by Congressman Jean Willys, from PSOL, argues that to solve the prostitution issue it is necessary to legalize the pimp trade. According to his bill, the pimp could get up to half the amount of a woman’s work in prostitution, which would meet the interests of the pimps and not the women’s.
Removals and overcrowded public transportation
Thousands of families have already been evicted from their homes to ensure the construction works for the FIFA World Cup. This is an attack made particularly against women. In most eviction cases, many women head their households and are not assisted by governments with housing alternatives. The “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” [My Home, My life] program has not solved the situation of families with lower income, since their housing deficit has not changed. The promises of public transport and assets investments, as “positive consequences of the World Cup”, have remained just and only promises. Transport fares remain high, the quality is bad, there are no enough mass modes of transport to carry all the potential users, and working women, the majority among users of this service, still embitter the threat of harassment and sexual violence.
Long queues in hospitals, long queues in children’s daycare centers…
Working women spend nights in hospitals’ long queues and in wait for places in public day nurseries. That happens because health and education’s budget is very small. In the country’s general budget forecast itremains a resounding injustice: 3.91% for Health, 3.44% for Education and 42% for the Public Debt.
The response of governments, at federal level as well as state and municipal levels for the demonstrations is to deepen the repression and criminalize the social movements. Women who experienced being detained during demonstrations suffer, very often, particular police violence: abuses, insults and sexist curses dominate the police behavior, demonstrating that machismo and the humiliation is part of the resources to demoralize the movement and the women who build up the struggle.
Does Dilma Rousseff rule in favor of women?
President Rousseff says she rules for working women. And many women credit to her the fact that their lives have been improved, especially through the resource provided by the “Bolsa Família” [Household Grant] program – a family monthly grant – inwhich 93% of the grants are distributed on behalf of the women. We respect that opinion but we do not agree with it. If Rousseff reverse the priorities of her government and put the needs of working women in the foreground, it would be possible to greatly improve the women lives.
We do not believe, for example, that spending more than 40% of the country’s budget in interests that go to the bankers’ pockets and spend only 3% of the budget in Health demonstrates concern about working women. FIFA was exempted from all taxes, which provides it huge profits and takes out the country’s resources that could be used to build kindergartens and daycare centers, to improve public transportation, fight violence against women and so on. These lacks of priorities demonstrate that despite being a woman, Dilma Rousseff rules towards business men instead of working women.
Originally published on Opinião Socialista 475
Rape Grant: The Statute of the New Born, a government Act named “Rape Grant” by the social movements, because it provides legal protection to the unborn child and ensures prenatal care and psychological counseling to women victims of rape.