Thousands take part in black women's march in Brazil

2015-11-19 10:49
A Candomble priestress takes part in the Black Women March against gender violence in Brasilia. (AFP)

A Candomble priestress takes part in the Black Women March against gender violence in Brasilia. (AFP)

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Brasila - Thousands of black women from across Brazil marched on the nation's capital on Wednesday to call attention to the pervasive violence and discrimination they suffer.

Organisers described the march, which brought several thousand participants to a lawn in front of Congress, as the first of its kind.

A scuffle broke out after march participants clashed with a separate group urging the impeachment of embattled President Dilma Rousseff.

A report in the Folha de S Paulo newspaper said three lawmakers were hit by police pepper spray as they stepped in between the two sides. Globo television network's Internet portal G1 said two police were detained after they shot into the air.

Valdecir Nascimento, one of the organisers of Wednesday's march, said it was intended as a response to the "vulnerability and fragility" that Brazil's more than 57 million black and mixed race women face on a daily basis.

Studies have shown that in Brazil, black women are more likely to die in childbirth and become victims of homicide than their white counterparts. They are also twice as likely as white women to be illiterate, according to the national statistics agency, and on average they earn less than white women or men of either race.

Wednesday's demonstration came amid a recent tide of feminist campaigns in Brazil, including a social media-based campaign called #myfirstharassment, which saw thousands of women go public with accounts of the first time they experienced sexual harassment, most as very young adolescents or even pre-teens. Another recent social media campaign saw prominent male editorialists turn over their columns to female counterparts for a day.

Read more on:    dilma rousseff  |  brazil  |  gender equality

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