INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Nearly 37,000 women behind bars in Brazil suffer from the violent, unsanitary conditions, and inhumane surroundings, to say the least.
The law is for women to be held in prisons exclusively for women; however the shocking reality in Brazil is that many of them are housed in areas also housing male prisoners – this puts women at high risk of abuse. Reports from prison riots claim that men have broken into female cells.
With the female prison population rising (by 161 percent in the last decade) it means overcrowding has become a huge issue as the prison system has not been able to keep up. More than double the amount of women are crammed into cells built for a much smaller number of people. In situations like this, unsanitary conditions are on the rise.
On International Women’s Day it is important to highlight the abuse of human rights for these women in prison in Brazil; limited access to sanitary products, not enough water to stay clean and well, and lack of provisions to keep themselves and often their babies, healthy. The international human rights standards require a special diet for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and prohibit sending them to punishment cells. Abiding to this in Brazil is uncommon.
Another major issue is the detachment of babies from their mothers after six months, at this point they are removed from the prison and sent to family or caretakers which is ‘agony’ for both the mother and the child. Babies can end up in shelters, and mothers run the risk of losing contact with them.
Read the full article here.
At the end of the article it highlights what Brazil government should strive for;
“it should bring prison conditions in the relatively small number of female lockups into compliance with international standards and its own laws.
Brazilian women deserve it.”