Target: President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff
Goal: End domestic abuse and violence against the women of Brazil
Every five minutes in Brazil, a woman is beaten, and in 70 percent of the cases, the aggressor is a boyfriend, husband, ex-partner or male family member. A study from 2010 showed an average of 137 cases a day of violence or threats against women – in Rio de Janeiro alone. Sadly, these statistics are not on the decline. Calls for help to the Brazilian Women’s Assistance Center have in recent years increased by 16 times. The state of violence against women in Brazil must be put to an end.
Anarkia Boladona, the alias of a Brazilian woman born Panmela Castro, is a self-proclaimed “feminist political graffiti artist,” who is striving to create a new trend in women’s rights awareness. She takes a less academic approach than many, and instead appeals to popular culture and artistic ways of expression.
Her work can be found in many places – in her hometown (Rio de Janeiro), all across Brazil and elsewhere around the world – in the form of billboards against domestic violence and promoting women’s rights.
“Being a feminist means being a politicized woman, conscious of her rights and who fights for recognition of her rights and cultural equality,” she says, and describes her art as there for everyone to see, regardless of age, gender, race, or social class. Her growing fan base is proof of that.
Boladona grew up in one of the many poor areas of Rio de Janeiro. She describes that violence against women was all around her when growing up, even part of the lives of some of her closest family members. Graffiti became a way to release frustration and resentment, but as time went on, she found that she could use her passion in a constructive, political way to have a real impact and better her community.
The art we see from her now includes both illustrations and text. Her billboards – or rather various walls that she uses as canvases – portray the tragedies of domestic violence and abuse against women. These pieces often also include a phone number where women can turn for help.
Sign this petition and commend Anarkia Boladona for her tireless struggle, and urge President Dilma Rousseff to invest more in protecting women’s rights.
Dear President Rousseff,
Every five minutes in Brazil, a woman is beaten, and in 70 percent of the cases, the aggressor is a boyfriend, husband, ex-partner or male family member. A study from 2010 showed an average of 137 cases a day of violence or threats against women – in Rio de Janeiro alone. Sadly, these statistics are not on the decline, and further efforts are urgently needed to ensure the health and security of the women of your country.
Efforts made on legislative, and institutional levels in recent years have not gone unnoticed, but cases of domestic violence are still frighteningly common. Calls for help to the Women’s Assistance Center have in recent years increased by 16 times. Furthermore, government-sponsored studies and surveys by DataSenada and Mapa da Violência de 2012, show that domestic and other violence against women remains highly underreported to the authorities, due to fear of retribution and social disgrace.
People like Brazilian artist Anarkia Boladona have been making great and highly commendable efforts to raise public awareness of this problem. But a lot more work needs to be done. Despite all of your responsibilities and emergencies, I therefore urge you to place even higher priority on the safety and well-being of the women of Brazil. Women’s rights – human rights – is a great responsibility, and violence against women is an emergency that must come to an end.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Diogo Diniz Garcia Gomes via Fotopedia