women’s experience of urban violence in Brazil

Published on Amnesty International.org, by International Seretariat London, 2008, a 87 pdf-pages report.

… Conclusions and Recommendations, page 78: This report set out to highlight reality behind the dramatic images and shocking statistics of bloodshed in Brazil’s urban centres. It has attempted to look behind the tens of thousands of young Afro-Brazilian men being killed, who have traditionally taken centre stage in discussions of urban violence, to the women in socially excluded communities.

Women in these communities are the direct victims of violence and some are increasingly caught up in the world of criminal gangs. However, many more are struggling to cope with the loss of relatives, to bring up families in an environment fraught with dangers, and to keep themselves and their children safe from both criminal and police violence and intimidation …

… Page 80: With this report Amnesty International is further calling on the authorities to Identify the intersectionality of gender and race issues in relation to policing and ensure appropriate policies and projects are created to address these needs. More specifically Amnesty International recognizes that since the organization made those recommendations the federal government has launched its PRONASCI plan and introduced the “Maria da Penha” law.


Amnesty International further calls on the federal and state authorities to:

  • Ensure independent and transparent monitoring of the implementation of the PRONASCI projects. This should include: the gathering of better data on crime and violence and the setting of clear objectives and targets for the reduction of criminal violence, especially homicide.
  • Publicly recognize and reinforce the message that gender and race issues will be an essential part of implementing the human rights focus of PRONASCI.
  • Improve the gathering of gender specific data to ensure that targeted policies can be devised with a gender focus, that resources can be accurately directed, and that the effective implementation of the policies can be precisely and independently measured and monitored.
  • Ensure that on the basis of data gathered, the federal government, including the Women’s Ministry, the Ministry of Justice, the Special Secretariat of Human Rights as well as other relevant ministries and members of civil society meet to make sure that relevant gender specific projects are included within the PRONASCI proposal.
  • Ensure that a process is set up to independently evaluate the implementation of the gender impact of the PRONASCI proposal and identify key areas of women’s security needs.
  • Immediately start a review of the situation of women and girls in the detention system and, in collaboration with civil society, set out a targeted and timely plan to address all their specific needs, especially guaranteeing their safety from human rights violations and sexual abuse and guaranteeing adequate access to health care.
  • Ensure that a process is set up to independently evaluate the implementation of the “Maria da Penha” law that includes members of civil society.
  • The findings of this should inform the allocation and the distribution of resources and training and any reforms needed. They should also ensure the effective implementation of the law guaranteeing due diligence and due process.
  • Make public what steps are being taken to implement Article 8 of the “Maria da Penha law”. This sets out requirements for the implementation of public security policies which fully integrate race and gender perspectives, the collection of data and the involvement of members of civil society as participants and independent monitors.
  • Ensure that clear targets are set for the provision of services, especially access to health care, childcare, housing and education.
  • Identify and address, as part of its National Programme for Human Rights Defenders, specific threats and human rights violations experienced by women human rights defenders.

… (full text, all 87 pages).

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