Jacqueline Pitanguy interview on women's activism, democracy, health and economic rights, and barriers and progress in Brazil
Part of a series of interviews recorded at WLP International with WLP partners following transnational partners meeting, September 2015 (for use in Human Rights webinar).
This interview is with Jacqueline Pitanguy, Founder and Director of Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informação e Ação (CEPIA), held cabinet position as President of the National Council for Women (1986-89), Brazil. She describes background of activism, as generation living through authoritarian military governments on South Cone of Americas. Describes study of women in labor force ‘like coming across a new continent’. Discusses democracy as encompassing equality. Describes founding early feminist group CERES, start of positioning as feminist, pioneering movement in Brazil. Discusses parallel movements in mid 1970s Europe and USA. Describes different scales of power experienced, as member of cabinet in re-democratization of country, writing of new constitution with matrix of human rights. Describes campaigns and advocacy work among most important in continent. Describes landmark constitutional changes, 1980s, challenging traditional human rights discourse. Discusses barrier of cultural mindset in realizing what is written in constitution. Describes legislative progress in 1990s and 2000s to eradicate discrimination in penal and family codes. Discusses regrouping of extreme right, political religion as anti-women’s rights, current evangelical President of National Congress of Brazil. Reflects on decades of progress. Mentions Universal Declaration on Human Rights, World Conference against Racism (WCAR), Durban, South Africa, 2001, trajectory of social rights and social equality with women as key protagonists. Discusses importance of international conventions in introducing new dimensions and giving legitimacy to national laws. Discusses significance of Maria de Penha law, CEPIA’s involvement. Discusses health rights entering dimension of reproductive rights, tension between human rights and social and economic rights. Discusses increase in disparity between poverty and wealth, necessity of bringing people to center of development, United Nations concept of human development centered in the human being, rooted in dimensions of health, education, income with idea of choice at core.
Describes Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) as family, impact on women in Brazil through CEPIA’s multiplication of methodology.