Women strive to build a place in Brazil’s construction industry
Jen Swales – Miami Herald - Monday, 25 June 2012 (originally published 18 Jun)
RIO DE JANEIRO — When 19-year-old Paloma Cristina Terra’s boyfriend, Felipe, left her, she was terrified. Five months pregnant at the time, she had no idea how she’d support herself. Like many young women from Rio de Janeiro’s poorest slums, she’d dropped out of school in sixth grade and never held a job.
Milena Vicente Silva de Santa Rita, 25, found herself in a similar predicament. A single mother of two from Nova Iguacu, a poverty stricken city just outside Rio, she hadn’t held a steady job in five months. Occasionally, she’d find temporary work cleaning, earning the equivalent of about $53 a month, but that was hardly enough to support a family of three.
Both could have done what many poor women in Brazil do and take up full-time jobs as maids. But a typical maid’s salary – equal to $265 a month – wouldn’t have provided a real escape from poverty. So they decided to try something different . . .
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