bakeries brazil, bakeries sao paulo, bakery business brazil, bakery training program brazil, brasil house museum, Brazil, brazil inititative, brazil slums, Brazil women, brazil's slums, brazilian economics, brazilian women, cities alliance, educating women, empower women, empowering women, empowering women brazil, empowering women latin america, empowering women sao paulo, equal rights, favela, favelas, favelas brazil, financial brazil, gender empowermet, gender equality, gender equality brazil, home business brazil, human rights, inequality brazil, latin america slums, latin america women, latin american wome empowerment, london business school, Luisa Pascoareli, maos de maria, metered, microdinero magazine, microfinance, Museu da Casa Brasileira, Paraisópolis, Paraisópolis Women Association, pastries brazil, pastry baker, payscale for women, poor, poorest brazil, poverty, poverty and gender, sao paulo initiative, sao paulo women, São Paulo, São Paulo State Social Solidarity Fund, sebrae, sebrae sp, service industries brazil, service industries latin america, slums brazil, wnn, wnn - features, women and labour brazil, women careers, women careers brazil, women economics brazil, women empowerment, women entrepreneurs, women exclusion, women finance, women finance brazil, women in slums, women inequality, women jobs brazil, women labor force, women loans brazil, women micro loans, women needs brazil, women news network, women poor, women poverty, women poverty brazil, women poverty sao paulo, women training, women vocations, women's payscale, women's rights, work force women, World Bank, world bank women
Luisa Pascoareli – WNN Features
(WNN) Sao Paulo, Brazil: The city of Sao Paulo is a crowded city of over 11 million people. It is a city of many contrasts where those who live an affluent life often intersect daily with those who have little to nothing. Sprawling slums, known as ‘favelas,’ can be seen next to luxurious neighborhoods.
Numerous high-rise blocks in downtown Sao Paulo have also been occupied by up to 4,000 squatters at one time, as people live on the edge of life where desperation is large and opportunity is small. Sao Paulo is a city like all cities in the world though where women at every level want to help their families by getting jobs.
Recent World Bank research through a new “World Development Report 2012 – Gender Equality and Development,” shows that between 1998 and 2008 about 552 million women joined work forces around the world. But this overall rate of female labor force participation rose only a slim 50.2 to 51.8 percent between 1980 and 2009, while the male rate actually fell from 82 to 77.7 percent.
Currently 4 in 10 workers worldwide are women.
But according to the Director of Poverty Reduction at the World Bank, Ana Ravenga, “Women still receive lower payments, have smaller businesses than men, are in higher numbers in unpaid jobs [72 percent in Brazil] and face more difficulty getting credit.”
Although the scenario seems very far away from ideal there are some new initiatives that are helping to change this outlook in São Paulo, Brazil. One of them is a unique project called “Mãos de Maria,” that has been created to help women who live inside the second biggest slum in São Paulo.
This is the slum known as favela Pariasópolis, literally translated as ‘Paradise City,’ has 1oo,000+ inhabitants. Almost half, 47 percent, of the inhabitants are women. The Mãos de Maria project has been training women since October 2009 enabling them to join the work force and to enter professional careers.
Recently women have been given the opportunity to become bread and pastry chefs with the creation of a new artisanal bakery sponsored by Mãos de Maria in September 2011. One of the favela Paraisópolis residents, Ivoneide Gonçalves da Silva, participated in the classes although she was already selling pastries out of her home. “I did the course because I needed to have a certificate in case I would work outside the community,” she said. “But during the classes I could learn news stuff with the teachers and the other women,” added Gonçalves.
Gonçalves currently makes $400+ Brazilian Real ($221 USD) per month, an amount that is seen by many advocates as wages that are still far too low, but it is also seen as a strong positive movement in the right direction for women who often have been sidelined by Brazilian society.