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State Feminism and Women’s Movements in Brazil. Achievements, Shortcomings, and Challenges

Author(s): Cecilia Sardenberg, Ana Alice Alcantara Costa

In: Basu, Amrita, Women’s Movements In The Global Era. The Power Of Local Feminism, pp. 299-329

This chapter provides an overview of Brazilian feminist and women's movements since the 1970s, showing how dialogues with the state began and eventually led to the establishment of Women's Policy Agencies at different governmental levels, as well as in the different branches of government. It demonstrates that, despite these setbacks, state feminism in its participatory form continues to be an important instrument in the fight for gender equality in Brazil. The chapter deals with a periodization of feminist struggles in Brazil, tracing the emergence and consolidation of state feminism and the challenges it encountered up to more recent years. It examines how state feminism in Brazil has furthered women's struggles in combating their underrepresentation in formal politics, confronting violence against women, and advancing state support for the exercise of women's reproductive rights, focusing on the legalization of abortion.