On April 17, the Black Women's Right to Heath Project began to give classes in the first of two training courses in "Black Women"s Right to Heath" that have now been scheduled.
These training courses consist of seven classes. The inaugural class addresses the health of black women with a political approach and the other six issues to be explored are: women's rights; right to health; right to racial equality; sexual rights; reproductive rights and domestic violence and; the most common diseases affecting black women.
All these issues are also discussed in the Reference Manual on the Health of Black Women, compiled by the project staff and distributed to all the course participants.
The participants are women, mostly black, who already enjoy recognition in their communities for their social work as citizenship agents.
For this first course, applications were received nearly 40 women the neighborhood of São Mateus, in the east side of the city of São Paulo, and 10 women the quilombos - communities originally founded by escaped slaves of Vale do Ribeira. They are Grassroots Legal Assistants, staff the São Mateus General Hospital and health officers, etc.
The inaugural class included, besides a presentation of the project and the course material, a lecture by Oscar Vilhena Vieira, Legal Director of Conectas Human Rights, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) Law School, and Coordinator of the FGV's Postgraduate Program in Development and Human Rights.
Classes for this first course will be held once a week, on Thursdays, 3 pm to 7 pm, at the head office of Geledés, located at Rua Santa Isabel, 137, 4th floor, Vila Buarque, and will last April 17 to June 12. The second course will begin shortly afterwards.
Run in partnership with Geledés - Black Women's Institute and funded by the European Union, the Black Women?s Right to Heath Project aims to empower black women in the east side of the city of São Paulo in defense of their right to health, for the purpose of combating racial discrimination in the Brazilian health services.
Once they have completed the training course, these women will be qualified to monitor the public health services, particularly concerning the specific needs of black women.
The project activities are planned to last three years. They began in April 2007, with the production of material for the training courses. Since this is a pilot project, the methodology will, upon completion, be broken down and codified in order to create a model for monitoring health services that can be replicated in other cities and regions of Brazil.