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Reporting Rape Survivors to Police Can Endanger Their Health

Brazilian authorities should revoke a Health Ministry regulation that erects new barriers to legal abortion access, Human Rights Watch said today. Among other measures in the August 27, 2020 regulation that could discourage women and girls from…
Women hold a banner calling for “legal, safe and free abortion,”
News

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
201711wrd_tanzania_domesticworkers
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Brazil's Family, Women and Human Rights Minister Damares Alves called a news conference on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. She remained silent for 30 long seconds in front of television…
Women protest against gender-based violence in Brasilia, Brazil, in 2016.
News
“There is real risk in the spread of information, which can put the lives of girls at risk,” said Brazil's Minister of Women, Family, and Human Rights, Damares Alves, in an opinion article published on October 2. The “dangerous information” she…
Damares Alves, Brazil's Human Rights Minister
News
From October 7 until the end of the year, Brazilian women work for free. That’s one way of picturing the gender-based pay discrimination that haunts Brazilian businesses. Brazilian men earn in about nine months the same as…
Women protest Brasilia
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Listening to the candidates running for president in Brazil, one would never know that just three years ago the Zika epidemic radically changed the lives of thousands of Brazilian families. Maria Carolina Silva Flor (“Carol”) and Maria…
Maria Gabriela Silva Alves (“Gabi”), age 2, with her mother, Maria Carolina Silva Flor (“Carol”), at their home in Esperança, Paraíba state, Brazil in 2018. Gabi was one of thousands of children born with disabilities caused by exposure to the Zika virus
News
Activists around the world will mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion on September 28. Like several other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is in the midst of a vigorous public debate…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News
From time to time, the killing of a woman at the hands of a male partner or an ex outrages Brazil. If there is video, the murder may climb to the top of the headlines. Such was the case of Tatiane Spitzner, the 29-year-old…
Tatiane Spitzner
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  As Russia hosts the World Cup—the biggest single-event sports competition on the planet—the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) should make clear that its rules off the pitch…
A Fifa tem influência para exigir respeito a direitos humanos
News
Despite setbacks for women’s rights around the globe in 2017, some of the most exciting reforms and positive momentum emerged from the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisian women have new protections against violence. Migrant domestic workers in…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News
What kind of man would beat up a woman, especially one he ostensibly loves? A great many Brazilian men, unfortunately. North America and Europe are aflame with the #metoo movement, in which women are calling out…
People participate in a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 12, 2017.
News
Last week, Rebeca Mendes Silva Leite, a 30-year-old woman from São Paulo, Brazil, asked Brazil’s Supreme Court for permission to safely and legally terminate an unplanned pregnancy she does not want to continue. No woman…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
News
Susana, 25, was breastfeeding when she became pregnant with a second child in Recife. It was unplanned. Her son was born with microcephaly–a condition in which the infant’s head is smaller than expected.   She was among the nearly 100…
News
I met “Mariana,” a 20-year-old woman in Paraíba state, almost a year ago in the waiting area of a public hospital. I was investigating access to reproductive health services for women and girls in northeastern Brazil, and Mariana was one of my first…
News

Domestic Violence in Brazil

Last Sunday at 6:30 a.m., Cláudia Zerati was killed in her apartment in a building with a pool, gym, and sauna in Perdizes, an upper-middle class neighborhood in São Paulo. About 34 hours later, Siria Silva Souza was killed in a wooden…
Demonstrators attend a protest against rape and violence against women in Brasilia, Brazil, May 29, 2016.
News

Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News
Clara is a community health worker’s dream client—she has absorbed all the training offered on preventing mosquito breeding in her home and implements it to perfection. I spoke to her last October in a favela in downtown Recife. She described how she…
Mother holding her child in Brazil.
News
I met Taise Campos, a 38-year-old schoolteacher, last February, when I traveled with a Human Rights Watch colleague to Roraima to try to understand the state’s off-the-charts rate of killings of women. Taise’s life changed radically 11 years…
Veículo da Patrulha Maria da Penha em Roraima, Brasil
News

What It's Like for Teens Who Give Birth to Babies With Zika Syndrome.

Teenage girls are the forgotten victims of Brazil’s Zika outbreak. The virus, transmitted by mosquitos, leaves many babies of mothers infected during pregnancy with lifelong disabilities that require constant care. Because teenage girls in Brazil…
Wastewater and garbage are dumped directly into the river in a slum in the Coelhos neighborhood of Recife, Pernambuco state.
News
“Maria Laura, some women actually like to be beaten up,” a well-off businesswoman told me. And a well-educated male acquaintance said: “These are abusive relationships, women beat up their husbands and boyfriends and then they get beaten up themselves…
Women hold pictures of victims that died of domestic abuse against women, during a march to celebrate International Women's Day in Sao Paulo March 8, 2014.