Women and the FI in Brazil

Presentation (July 2006 PSOL –Fourth International)

Meeting of the women of FI and the PSOL


I.  Introduction

a) Feminism in the workers party:  self-organization, affirmative action (quotas, creches, women in power);

b)  Organization of women in mixed movements: Unions, the popular movement, and the movement of the church;

c)  Emergence of the movement of black women: 1998;

d)  Conferences and councils of women: UN, Beijing 1995;

e)  World March of Women: 1998-1999;

f) World Social Forum in Porto Alegre: 2001;

g)  Campaign against the FTAA and against the foreign debt:  Church;

h) Brazilian Lesbians’ League: 2004, feminist lesbians;

i) National Women’s Conference: 2004, legalization of abortion, joint manifesto of Black and Indian women;

j) Coordinating committees of women in government: limits and dangers.


II. Brazil: Important changes, new arrangements

a)  Election of Lula:  entry into the government (Ministry of Agrarian Reform);

b)  Social movements and their relation with the government:  WMW, CUT, etc;

c)  World March of Women and the FI in Brazil:  Criticisms and Contradictions

d)  Public policies:  instrumentalization of women for their implementation – PRONAF Women (National Agricultural Family Program – Credits so that women can accede on condition that the husband agrees), family credit, PSF (Family Health Program)

e)  Feminist work in Latin America – campaigns for the right to abortion and unitary action with the feminist movements of Latin America

f)  Leaving the PT and building the PSOL:  Women’s Collective of the PSOL

g)  PSOL and the “Enlace” tendency:  multiple trajectories and old vices


III.  Campaigns

a)  Adoption of the draft law on violence against women – the campaign was begun in the 1980s

b)  Legalization of abortion

c)  Criminalization of social movements:  peasant women (MST – against genetically modified organisms /GMOs)

d)  Draft law proposed by Heloisa Helena and adopted :  Creches (child care centers)

e)  Commercialization of the body and the image of women:  trafficking of women and young people, prostitution

f)  Valorization of the minimum wage


IV.  Feminism and Mixed Movements

a)  Religions and Sectors of the Church in Brazil: MST, CPT, Catholics for the freedom of choice

b)  Lesbians, young people, and trade unionism

c)  Global Justice Movement.  WSF in Porto Alegre and Caracas


V.  Perspectives and Proposals

a)  for the women’s commission of the FI to function again

b)  creation of women’s commissions on a regional level (Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe…)

c)  campaigns: abortion, violence, prostitution, anti-racism

d)  taking into consideration of the discussions and the struggles of black and immigrant women within feminism, on the level of developing ideas and of struggles