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What Changed For The Better In Women’s Life Since The 90’s

The Feminist Movement claims for gender equity since its beginning. It has gone through three Waves with different objectives in which one. The first one, back in the late 19th century, fought for political and human rights, like the right to vote, study and work. The second one started in 1960 and was against the patriarchal structure and women discrimination.

The third Wave began at the 1990’s decade and is still happening. It requires freedom for women bodies, the end of gender violence and puts different ethnicities together as it is a more inclusive form of feminism. Here comes a list with some of the things that changed for better in women’s life since the start of the 90’s around the world.

1. World Conference by United Nations Organization

At the first World Conference after the Cold War, the violence against women and women’s rights were on the spotlight. Some compromises were assumed by almost 90 countries to eliminate gender inequity, as the creation of laws and strengthening of rights obtained by women.

2. Coalition of Lesbian Activists in Australia

The only non-governmental organization accredited by United Nation fights towards the end of discriminations against lesbians. C.O.A.L. influences the Australian Commonwealth to eradicate the prejudice against women.

3. Quota for women in politics

In 1996, the Brazilian Congress included a quote system in the Electoral Legislation that obligates every party to subscribe at least 20% of women in all the electoral slates. It was developed thinking about women getting more political positions.

4. Decriminalization of the “non virginity”

In 2002 the Brazilian’s Civil Code took off the article that used to say that the “non virginity” of women was a reason to justify divorce. Until that year, a man could cancel the marriage if he discovered that the woman wasn’t virgin anymore.

5. Maria da Penha Law

One of the most important conquers to Brazilian women, the law named “Maria da Penha” was sanctioned to protect women against domestic violence, including physical, sexual, patrimonial and psychological aggressions. Maria da Penha is actually a real woman who suffered domestic violence from her husband for 23 years. He tried to killed her twice: the first time with a fire gun and the second time by electric shock. She got paraplegic, but became committed to the fight for women’s rights and the punishment of her husband, because of that the law honor her.

6. Women assuming important political occupations

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is an American lawyer and politician. She was the first woman to run for president in the United States at the 2016 election. Before becoming the Democratic Party candidate, she was Secretary of State of the United States from 2009 to 2013 and Senator of New York from 2001 to 2009.

Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Vana Rousseff is a Brazilian economist and politician affiliated with Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT). She was the 36th President of Brazil and the first woman to be in this position from 2011 untill her impeachment in 2016.

Asha-Rose Migiro

Asha-Rose Mtengeti Migiro is a politician, lawyer and teacher born in Tanzania. She was the first woman to be elected the deputy secretary on United Nations and occupied this position between 2007 and 2012.

7. Legal Abortion

Portuguese citizens voted on a plebiscite to decide for or against the decriminalization of the voluntary termination of pregnancy in 2007. With 59% of the votes in favor of the decriminalization, it was taken to the Portugal’s Parliament that approved the choice of woman to abort until 10 weeks of gestation. To decide what to do with your own body was a big step on women’s rights, and it was spread to other countries, such as Australia in 2008, Spain in 2010 and Uruguay in 2012.  

Recently, women from Argentina marched for the right of legal and safe abortion, but Senate decide to maintain abortion as a crime for women who were not rapped or without being in a risk of life.

8. Violence against women becomes illegal in India

In 2013, after the young woman Jyoti Singh Pandey was rapped by six men inside of a bus, a lot of riots claimed by justice and it worked out. Rape is, since that year, considered a heinous crime.

9. Femicide Law

In 2015, the Femicide Law, sanctioned by President Dilma Rousseff, changed the Brazilian penal code by including a new type of homicide: the crime, which is practiced against a woman reasoned by the fact that she is a woman, was characterized as a hate crime. This law recognizes and gives visibility to the discrimination, oppression and systematic violence against women that, in some cases, causes death.

Brazil occupies the fifth position in a rank of femicides’ taxes in countries around the world: 4,8 homicides to 100 thousand women according to the World Health Organization.

10. Harassment is a crime in Brazil

Sexual harassment started being considered a crime in Brazil in 2018. When the woman has her freedom hurt, even in cases of divulging intimate photos, the harasser can be punished with up to five years in jail.

Jornalista em formação, canceriana e feminista!
Beatriz Cristina

Casper Libero '21

Beatriz Cristina is majoring in Journalism at Casper Libero, in São Paulo, Brazil. She is an avid reader and tries to finish all the TV series she starts, but fails everytime. She loves art, talking to people and is always looking for stories that need to be told.
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