Valdecir Nascimento, 59, is a prominent women’s rights advocate in Brazil and the Executive Coordinator of ODARA–Instituto da Mulher Negra (Black Women´s Institute), based in Salvador, Brazil.
During the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Nascimento spoke to UN Women about the black women’s movement in Brazil and the mounting infringement of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Right now, there is a lot of aggression in the daily lives of black women in Brazil—in public spaces, in banks, hospitals, everywhere. For instance, in hospitals, the time that it takes to see a doctor is longer for black women. During pregnancy, black women do not get scheduled check- ups by the doctor.
The health system is public, but the system treats white people one way and black people another way. Maternal mortality rate varies depending on the regions. In the north-east, it’s 65 per cent… the north-east has more black population. Sexual and reproductive health services don’t reach black women. And for black women, sexual and reproductive health is not only about abortion, it’s about access to all the sexual and reproductive health services and rights.