The social integration and the empowerment of Brazilian women living in Rome

Isabela C. Sousa, Escola Politécnica de Saúde Joaquim Venâncio and Fiocruz

Changes in women’s roles and globalization in countries increasingly lead more women to migrate. Italy is the second destination selected by Brazilian immigrants in Europe, after Portugal and about 70% are women. From December 2003 to July 2004, in depth interviews were conducted with 46 Brazilian women and brief interviews with 34 Brazilian men living in Rome. Due to job opportunities and networking, these women were more empowered than men. Women’s empowerment was revealed in their autonomy to spend their earnings, in what they told were their psychological, cultural and material gains and in how they wanted to and did transform the social world they lived in. Even though half of them wanted to return to Brazil, this did not always mean they were not socially integrated and empowered in Italy. In reality, most were socially integrated and less than half were, in different ways, empowered through the migration experience.

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Presented in Poster Session 5