Women’s Voices in the Decade for People of African Descent
Our second edition of Women’s Voices in the Decade for People of African Descent brings together the messages of women members of parliament, advocates, and religious leaders who, in their social and political activity, fight against racism, misogyny, LGBTphobia, and class hatred in Brazil.
The initiative has the financial support of Open Society Foundations and is part of our International Mission of Human Rights in Brazil, with the objective of documenting the obstacles to political participation for women of African descent inside the framework of the 2022 presidential elections.
A report with the Mission’s results will also be presented to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), with a view to ensuring Member States intensify their efforts to combat the incitement to hatred and negative gender and racial stereotypes in electoral contexts.
Renata Souza is the first black woman to be chosen as the chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission in the Legislative Assembly of Río de Janeiro. Before being elected, she worked as the chief of staff for Marielle Franco, the Afro-Brazilian politician who was murdered in 2018. In the October 2022 election, Renata aims to be re-elected as a regional representative to continue Marielle’s fight for the right to life for black women from the favelas.
Ângela Guimarães is a feminist activist, sociologist, and candidate for the role of councillor for the Communist Party in Salvador de Bahía. She also chairs the Union of Black People for Equality (Unegro), an anti-racist organisation which, for the past thirty-four years, has worked in political advocacy to support the rights of people of African descent in Brazil.
Mônica Francisco has been a Human Rights advocate and representative in the Legislative Assembly of Río de Janeiro for the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) since 2018. She is standing once again in the 2022 elections to take the voices of black, marginalised, feminist, and LGBTIQ+ women to Congress, focusing strongly on issues of maternal death and obstetric violence.
Clátia Vieira is president of the State Forum of Black Women and a member of the organising committee of the Eighth March of Black Women in Brazil. Under the slogan “More Black Women in Power”, the demonstration assembled thousands of people in Río de Janeiro who publicly denounce femicides and sexism, marching for an anti-racist and fairer society.
Suely Santos is a representative of the Network of Black Women from Bahía, an anti-capitalist and anti-racist space made up of women’s organisations from different political, sexual, and religious orientations. In 2016, the network launched the illustrious campaign “Stop Killing Us” against the violence black women suffer in a country with a population that is predominantly of African descent.
Lívia Ferreira is the chairwoman of the National LGBT Union in Bahía, an organisation which fights for the LGBTQIA+ population. She currently lives on the island of Itaparica, where 90% of the population is of African descent. Despite being the majority, no black person has ever held the position of mayor or councillor on the island, which is why Lívia aims to be the mayoress of Vera Cruz, one of Itaparica’s municipalities.
Wanda Araújo is a Lalorichá (priestess), social educator, and a coordinator of the Ylê Asè Egi Omim Cultural Centre of Afro-Brazilian Traditions. Located in Río de Janeiro, this centre from the Candomblé religion promotes the ancestral, cultural, and medical knowledge of African peoples. As a result of structural racism, religions of African origin are still the target of attacks and repression in Brazil.
Coordination: Isabelle Mamadou.
Director: Leonardo Rua.
Technical Support: Esther Mamadou.
Field Production: Edmeire Exaltação, Lívia Ferreira.
Translation and Interpretation: Thayná Barros Soares, Raquel Luciana de Souza.
Percussion: Ana Magalhães, Sabrina Chaves.
Music: Jongo Soli.
Sound: Priscilla Alves.
Supports: Dembaia, Quintal Òkòtó Studio.
Collaboration: Casa das Pretas, Red de Mulheres Negras de Bahía.