On July 4 and 5, the black women Collective of Mato Grosso do Sul (Cmnegras/MS) held a workshop for women from the Sergipe Domestic Workers Union. The meeting, an unprecedented articulation in the state between domestic workers and the black women movement, brought together 47 women at Casa da Doméstica, in Aracaju.
The workshop, aimed at discussing domestic violence against black women, closed the project "Black Women's Voices, Aqualtunes, Nzingas, Dandaras and Acotirenes release their voices", supported by Elas Fundo de Investimento Social through the Fale Sem Medo Fund, a partnership with the Avon Institute. "The workshop closed our project on a high note. It was our first meeting with the Aracaju workers and it was excellent," says Ana Alves Lopes, from Cmnegras/MS.
Ana emphasizes the importance of this kind of coordination for feminist activism and women's groups: "We need and want to talk to women from terreiros, quilombos, unions, various women's movements, and sometimes it's difficult to make a connection that reaches out to women from other states."
Workers from the Union of Domestic Workers of Sergipe, one of those supported by the project "For the rights of domestic workers in Brazil", developed by the Elas Fund in partnership with Themis, celebrated the opportunity to talk to the Black Women's Collective of Mato Grosso do Sul: "It's a very important exchange of experiences. As domestic workers, we know that the reality, wherever you are, is practically the same, with many similarities. And with regard to color, here we found it difficult for many women to accept themselves as black. When they went to fill in the forms for a course, workshop, etc., black women usually said they were "brunettes". In the workshop, the girls showed us another, beautiful reality, that being black is not a defect, blackness is pride. It was wonderful," said Sueli Maria de Fátima Santos, president of the Union of Domestic Workers of Sergipe.