Women and popular urban social movements in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Looks at how and why women tend to dominate community-based politics. First, examines the way in which the sexual division of labour in Brazil reproduces itself in the political sphere and the implications this has for the prioritisation of gender in a political analysis of popular urban social movements. Second, through the use of primary empirical data, shows how the participation and influences of women moulds the way in which such movements are organised and the political practices employed. The article is based on a wider research project conducted on the role of women in the organisation and formation of popular urban social movements in Brazil. Fieldwork was undertaken in Sao Paulo during the period 1983-1985, and concentrated on three popular movements: Movimento de Saude (Health Movement-formed originally in 1973 with the aim to improve medical services at both the local and regional level), Movimento de Favela (Favela Movement - founded in 1976 to secure land title and to improve services and infrastructure in the settlements) and Movimento dos Desempregados (Unemployed Movement - formed in 1983 to solve immediate problems of unemployment through demands for unemployment benefit, "workfronts' and so on). One common feature is that participants in these movements are either exclusively or predominantly women. -from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages16
JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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