Brazil – MFP: Under Luiz Inacio, the women’s situation has not changed at all

Hereby we publish an unofficial translation of an article from the bulletin of the People’s Women’s Movement from Brazil.

During the last election period the situation of the women was one of the most discussed points, but despite all the promises during this period, the life of women of the people has not experienced any change, not in form, not in content, specially its poorest parts, as the inhabitants from the favelas in the cities and of the landless peasants and peasants with little land in the interior.

In this period, the opportunist government of Luiz Inacio and Alckmin, put its “governance” agenda (read: alliance with the same reactionary coalition that is in the government, whatever the government, from Sarney to Bolsonaro) into practice and try to pacify the coup generals and the extreme right, regardless the popular interests. Shy measures considered in the elections, such as taxes on large fortunes or recognition of workers’ rights for care workers, were not implemented. For the poor, on the contrary, the only policy has been the increase in violence in the countryside and in the city.

Another clear fact of crisis and increase of political violence, as evidenced in the recent murders of the Quilombola leader Mãe Bernadete and Pajé Nega in Pataxó, both in the state of Bahia, which is governed by the PT member Jerônimo Rodrigues, which has done nothing to reduce the attacks from the latifundium and the extreme right against public lands and indigenous territories. Even more, he encouraged it by the recent approval of the criminal temporary framwork [Translator’s note: Marco Temporal], associations of big landlords, hoarders and thieves such as the group “Invasion Zero”, have armed and trained actual gunmen armies to promote the reincorporation of illegal possessions of land, to murder leaders and to try to control the struggle for land. Most of these gentlemen make up the social base of Bolsonarism and the extreme right, and openly defend the return of their leader to the government and the outcome of the fascist military coup. As for this, Luiz Inacio and his minister give the budget to his “allies”, Artur Lira and other white collar bandits in Congress, as if such appeasement policy could contain the coup rage that comes mainly from the armed forces and the big landlords.

The recurring episodes of police massacres – as the one which derived from the “Operation Summer” in Santos, which already has resulted in 54 deaths, additionally to the permanent siege of the Cariocas favelas [Translator’s note: in Rio de Janeiro], show a clear reactionary civil war of the ruling classes of big bourgeoisie and big landlords at the service of imperialism, mainly Yankee, against the people. As we have seen, to assemble the police and equip repression at all levels, there is no contingency of expenses or financial limitations. For healthcare and education, the economic cuts and devaluation of professionals and structural degradation are a routine, as revealed in the inability of the State to prevent and offer assistance to workers during the current dengue epidemic. In short, for the rich, everything for the people, nothing!

Public policy promises for women, which were so trumpeted during the electoral farce, were already forgotten. Because they were made by pure makeup, as in the case of the distribution of menstrual absorbents in the “people’s pharmacy program” for which an endless bureaucracy is demanded to verify poverty, an exposure and humiliation that inhibits many women from seeking it. Matters such as the valuation of the minimum wage and the Salary Equalization Law between men and women of the same profession became a dead letter. Most women remain without formal employment and survive how they can in order to feed their children. Among the workers, black women lead the worst unemployment, payment and occupation indices in unprotected employment, without a signed contract and without rights.

The economic crisis, and unemployment and inflation weigh even more on the women. As has been shown by the National Research by Continuous Proves from Homes, carried out by the IBGE [Translator Note: Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics] in the fourth quarter of 2023, inequality between men and women in the labor market increased. From 20% in the previous quarter, the income difference between men and women increased to 25%. They gain 25% less. Women workers, especially black workers, are the ones who suffer more hunger and unemployment – female unemployment is 55% greater than male unemployment, and 47% of women live in a situation of food insecurity.

This lack economic protection exposes us to other violence. In this way, only in the first four months of 2023, 17,500 sexual violations against children or teenagers were registered, and despite this cruel reality, access to abortion in the current law (in cases of incest, when the mother’s life is in danger and fetal anencephaly) has been increasingly difficult though public health services, forcing women to put their lives at risk to carry out abortion.

Impulse the New Democratic Revolution and the popular protest!

The serious economic, political and military crisis in which the country is immersed, it is not a conjunctional or temporary fact: its roots are in the five centuries of latifundium and domination, first colonial, then imperialist. An economy subjected by latifundium and imperialism, always stagnant and without margin for national development. Ruling classes, lackeys of imperialism, minor partners, who are happy with crumbs. Permanent political crisis, frequent revolutionary situations and recurring military interventions.

Additionally to the unbearable yoke that weighs on us, the people, the women still carry a fourth mountain of exploitation: female oppression. This, is expressed in unpaid domestic work; in the inferior and preconceived form in how women are seen by patriarchal ideology; in the lowest salaries and more degrading work conditions that affect us, in addition to several other spiritual consequences, such as self-underestimation, which ties us to unhappy situations and suffering.

On this 8th of March, we, the People’s Women’s Movement, call on workers’ women from the countryside and the city to impulse the Agrarian Revolution and Popular Protest, joining the ranks of the New Democratic Revolution in our country. We must, in every part of every corner of this country, take what is ours by right – land, bread, employment, until we have the government of everything, that is, the power. That this memorable date, which is registered in the list of the dates of the international proletariat, once again marks the need to link all these new resistance struggles with the struggle for a New Brazil and a New World, in which the red flag waves sovereign.

Previous post Russian: Statement of the ICL on Comrade Lenin
Next post Germany: Supposedly former RAF member arrested