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On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


OLINTO, Maria Teresa Anselmo  and  OLINTO, Beatriz Anselmo. Race and inequality among women: an example in southern Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.16, n.4, pp.1137-1142. ISSN 1678-4464.

This study uses epidemiological data to investigate socioeconomic proportions of distinctions raised by "racism" in Brazilian society. A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 2,779 women ages 14 through 49, living in a southern Brazilian city. Black and mixed-race women had less schooling, lower family income, and worse housing conditions than white women. They also used contraceptive methods less frequently, had more children, and had higher spontaneous abortion and stillbirth rates than white women. Virtually all of the results show a linear relationship between such categories, i.e., the "darker" the woman's skin color, the worse her socioeconomic and reproductive conditions. We also observed that black women were either separated, divorced, or widowed, another apparent factor for black women's impoverishment, related mainly to their limited employment opportunities. The results of the current study indicate that racial relations among women are an issue that should foster a discussion concerning citizenship in Brazil.

Keywords : Race; Ethnic Groups; Women's Health.

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