Black and poor women may decide who will be the next president of Brazil
In an April 2015 column published in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, journalist Maria Lucia Pereira published a list of the 30 “Most Wanted Women” in the world. On the list, on a yellowed page, she placed the name of a woman in Brazil.
The woman on the list is a social worker from the city of Niterói in the Rio de Janeiro/São Paulo metropolitan region.
Born in 1932, at the age of 25, this woman came to Brazil, a country in which women had until then been virtually invisible. It was a man that helped her out. Her mother was the first to join her in the workforce, the first to help her find a job. Her father was the only one alive from the family – and he was already working in the city that the woman had left behind.
The woman was called Teresa Luiza, or Luiza, in her mother’s memory. The story goes that Luiza’s father was a tailor who, because he had already made one suit for a customer, wanted to make another.
She didn’t want to be a mother in this new country, in this new world. She wanted to make a difference in life – by becoming a teacher. She was only twenty when she got married to the man who also wanted to make a difference. Together they started a family, with two children. Luiza was determined to give the children the best of everything.
From the start, Luiza was determined to go to university, to become a social worker. When she was a young woman, she wanted to become a mother. She wanted to be a mother in this new country, in this newly emerging society. She didn’t want to become a mother in this new world. She wanted to make a difference. She wanted to become a social worker.