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Women’s Police Stations: Gender, Violence, And Justice In Sao Paulo, Brazil

1483 words - 6 pages

Assistant professor of the Department of Sociology at University of San Francisco, Ceclia Macdowell Santos, writes an impressive book called “Women’s Police Stations: Gender, Violence, and Justice in Sao Paulo, Brazil, ” in hopes of observing the dynamics of the relationship between women and the state in a political regime. In Cecilia Macdowell Santos’s book, it exudes an investigation of the ever changing and complicated association between the women and the state, and the idealized formation of gendered citizenship of Brazil. It describes police stations being run entirely by policewomen for women. With the police stations having women police officers in charge, the policewomen have ...view middle of the document...

As a outcome, this created the formation of the women police stations for women and even women’s state councils in Brazil. In 1985, the first women police station came about because of “the political conjuncture that allowed feminists to successfully demand of the state to treat violence against women as a serious, public crime” (16). Feminist and women’s movements successfully disputed that the police, majority of them being male, infrequently indicted cases of sexual and physical of women (p. 16). The Sao Paulo state government answered to feminist statements with the acknowledgment that violence against women was indeed a crime.
This startled the state to take action and increase women’s rights by “redefining an issue hitherto viewed as ‘private,’ even ‘normal,’ and also created new jobs for women on the police force” (p. 16). This brought attention that by having women in the police force, it helps and benefits them and also, helps to understand violence against women is a crime. Even so, the state managers in Sao Paulo stated that with this enacted, it will help promote democratization and help to provide female complaints with a safe area in which to condemn violence without facing discrimination from sexist policemen, “in the case of violence against women, for example, ‘many women’s groups used to complain about how policemen were treating female victims of violence’” (p. 19). And this caused the movements to establish a women’s police station, an “all-female police station to deal with crimes against women” (p. 16). As a result, the creation of police stations for women in Brazil was necessary because of high rates of crimes against women.
Although, there were issues on violence against women, there were also issues surrounding the subject of sexism and patriarchy in the Brazilian culture, which led to their development, “Brazilian feminist groups, composed mostly of middle-class women...grew out of Leftist struggles to fight the military-authoritarian regime, class domination in general, and patriarchy in particular” (p. 19). During the course of the military-authoritarian regime, majority of the police officers were primarily male. The police officers actions toward the people and the poor were vicious and were observed as the antagonist of the people. Though, these policemen acted these horrible act towards the poor, it did not weaken the democratization process. The feminists actually viewed the new all-female police station as an encouraging transformation toward democratization.
Patriarchy becomes relevant in the subject of police stations in Brazilian culture because of what it meant to be a police station. When Correa was selected to lead the women’s police station, former head of the Police Department Jose Osvaldo Pereira Vieira stated that Correa was elected due to her “‘competence, experience in the police, and sensibility’” (p. 28), because Correa matched the stereotype of a ‘”blond, gentle, and...

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