Women's Economic Opportunities and Health in Brazil

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Women's Economic Opportunities and Health in Brazil Women’s economic opportunities and health in Brazil is affected by many factors. Brazilian women’s economic opportunities are affected by such factors as gender inequality, violence from men, and racial inequality. Health is affected by reproductive rights, maternal mortality rates, domestic violence and sexual violence. This paper will examine health and economic opportunities available to women in the countries of Saudi Arabia, the United States and Brazil. Brazilian women were over half the population in 1998 at 50.6 percent (Reproductive Rights, 2004). The female life expectancy was 75.3 by the 2003 estimate. 86.6 percent of Brazilian women are literate overall and represent 41percent of the workforce (CIA, World Fact Book, 2003 and Blaney, 2004). The main types of employment are in agriculture, service sector, industry and the unemployment rate as of 2003 was 22.3 percent for women (Blaney, 2004). Half of women in the workforce serve in the informal sector and work in manual and repetitive work. Women in rural areas are half the work population in their regions. Brazil’s distribution of income is one of the most unequal and like many other countries, serves the interest of the rich. The richest 10 percent possess 50 percent of the income. Men earn 29.2 percent more than woman in the same employment field. Black Brazilian women receive 40 percent lower salaries than white woman and the black population is more likely to be poor overall (Blaney, 2004). Between 1960 and 1990, the share of national income of the poorest half of the population fell from 18 percent to 12percent, and the richest 20 percent increased from 54 percent to 65percent. The nine states in the Northeast have the lowest socioeconomic indicators in the country (PAHO, 1999). Adequate housing, water sanitation, education and daycare centers for women are some of the areas affected by the Brazil’s social inequality. Many of the poorer Brazilians are not provided with proper sanitation in the rural areas. Between 1988 and 1993 ninety-five percent of the urban population had adequate water supply and only 61 percent of the rural population had access to an adequate water supply. Many rural dwellers had to depend upon wells and privies and not service for their disposal system and the urban population received service. Housing i... ... middle of paper ... ....brazilnetwork.org/?mod=PageMod.showComponent&component_id=280 Central Intelligence Agency. (December, 2003). Brazil. Date retrieved 2 February, 2004. http://www.cia.gov/da/publications/factbook/geos/br/html CFEMEA. Guia dos direitos da mulher. 2d ed. Brasilia: CFEMEA, 1996. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Women, migrations, environment and rural development policy in Brazil. Date retrieved 28 January, 2004. http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/x0210e/x0210e00.htm Nelson, Sara. “Constructing and Negotiating Gender in Women’s Police Stations in Brazil.” Latin American perpectives 23:1 (Winter 1996) Osava, Maria. (2002) Health Rights: Black, Poor, Female, and HIV-positive in Brazil. Date retrieved 28 January 2004. http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=13438 Pan American Health Organization. (1999). Brazil: Basic Country Health Profiles, Summaries 1999. Date retrieved 28 January, 2004. http://www.paho.org/English/SHA/prfbra.htm Reproductive Rights. (1997). Brazil. Date retrieved 19 March, 2004. www.reproductiverights.org/ww_lac_brazil.html Thomas, Dorothy. Criminal Justice: Violence against Women in Brazil. New York; Human Rights Watch, 1991

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