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são paulo - a tale of two cities

terminant of labor market performance, particularly in granting higher returns to human capital investments. While the labor market rewards the educational investments of pardos similar to those of white workers located at the top of the adjusted wage scale, pardos at the bottom are rewarded similar to pretos. Thus the common belief in Brazil that a better position in the socio-economic scale grants a fairer treatment in the labor market (“money whitens”) may hold true only for pardos. The results suggest that while equalizing access to quality education, including improved early learning environments, is key to reduce inter-racial earnings inequality in Brazil, specific policies are also needed to facilitate non-whites equal access to good quality jobs.150 The 1999 IPEA study showed that in all regions, including São Paulo, AfrodescendentBrazilians suffered proportionally higher unemployment. In 1998 (during high unemployment years), there was a 41 per cent difference between black and white levels of unemployment, with whites unemployed at 16 per cent and blacks unemployed at almost 23 per cent. These differences were far higher in São Paulo than in many other regions. Of the country’s six metropolitan regions, only Salvador (at 45 per cent ) had greater racial differences in unemployment figures.151 The data in later studies indicates these differentials have hardly changed in the last decade, despite the Brazilian government’s promotion of racial equality and claims that colour or race inequalities in school attendance have been reduced in primary and secondary school enrolment. At the secondary level, non-white enrolment remains low, at only 36 per cent.152 There is evidence, too, that the quality of education is also lower for non-whites. Social exclusion is reinforced by prejudice and stigmatization. Non-whites are characterized in the Brazilian media and in urban consciousness amongst the middle classes and civic authorities (as well as security services) as potentially disruptive elements in society; consequently, they receive disproportionately high attention from police.

Finally, the UN-HABITAT Policy Analysis of 10 Latin American cities found that of the city experts surveyed in São Paulo, only 10 per cent felt that people were not discriminated against specifically on the basis of ethnic criteria. The other 90 per cent ranged from feeling that ethnic groups were fairly excluded (60 per cent) to very excluded 9 (per cent), particularly in relation to cultural expression or opportunities for cultural integration.

Gender Disparities Inequality of and discrimination against women continue to flourish in contemporary Brazil and São Paulo, despite positive legal instruments and progressive advances in recent years. According to the UN’s composite Gender-related Development Index, Brazil is ranked the 60th nation in the world for gender equity on key indicators of development. Along with calls for racial harmony, gender equity became an important rallying cry in opposition politics as Brazilian social activists

For many women, the Constitution of 1988 offered opportunity and reward enshrined in constitutional rights, combined the fight for democracy and social justice when the country moved from dictatorship to democracy in the 1980s. Women were an important part of the widespread, often confrontational and street-level movement that combined rural and urban workers, the landless, the homeless and church and labour groups to initiate an unprecedented public dialogue on the role of gender in contemporary Brazil. For many women, the Constitution of 1988 offered opportunity and reward enshrined in constitutional rights, transforming their activist aspirations into legislated rights. Despite this, and perhaps not surprisingly, gender disparities and inequalities continue to exist as modern Brazil emerges from a culturally conservative, patriarchal and religiously conservative Catholic past. Many studies use the earnings differential — the wage gap — to illustrate inherent gender inequalities.

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Profile for UN-Habitat

Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

Profile for unhabitat
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