Twitter goes mainstream in Brazil

As Twitter goes increasingly mainstream in the UK, as witnessed in its increasing use in radio phone-ins on the BBC it looks like its about to do the same here in Brazil. Or is it? This weeks Epoca magazine devoted it's cover to the rise of the phenomenon here in Brazil. However, we're asking a few of Brazil's most prolific Twitter addicts what this means for the application here.... more to come shortly

...oh and as if you don't yet know what Twitter is...

The inactive and the hyperactive in Brazil

The headlines that we read in the Brazilian press stated that one in five Paulistas (residents of the State of Sao Paulo) are sedentary although the findings seem to throw up some other interesting trends in terms of excercise and phsysical activities in Brazil.   According to a recent study on behalf of the State government and The Brazilian Health Ministry, 19.4% of respondents did not meet the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the accumulation of 30 minutes of physical activities, at least five days a week. However there appears to simultaneously be a divide between those who do little or no excercise and those who are extremely active - where nubers have grown since 2006. Result from Sao Paulo were replicated in the control sample of Curitiba where those doing minimal excercise grew from 3.9% to 9.8% and the very active rose from 11.8% to 16.8%. The research showed also that women remain more physically active than men.

The results come from research conducted in 2008 with 2,600 people of both sexes, over 14 years, of different ages, education, social classes and occupations in the city of São Paulo and 13 other regions of the state.

Women are the highest earners in 30% of Brazilian homes

International Women’s Day yesterday saw the annual collection of articles across the Americas about the role of women in society. In Brazil, Folha de Sao Paulo reported the findings of a number of different studies which emphasise the implications  the changing position of women in society, the workplace and within families and the household.  Increasingly women are becoming the dominant breadwinner within homes. Cases where the income of women exceeds that of men in the home are still in the minority, but in the last 25 years, they more than doubled, as shown by figures released by IPEA (Institute of Applied Economic Research)

From 1982 to 2007, the proportion of households where the income of women exceeded that of their partner grew from 3% to 11%. When one adds to this homes where the woman lives without a spouse, the percentage of houses where they were the main or only providers more than doubled, going from 13% to 30% in the last 25 years.

Another fact that demonstrates the advances made by women is the finding that women's contribution to the total income of households in Brazil has already reached 40%. In 1982, this proportion was 23%. The changes have been explained mainly because of improved female education and the reduction in fertility rates. Today, the IBGE has shown that education of women between 20 and 59 years exceeds that of men. In 1982, the situation was the reverse.

If women's participation in the labor market has changed considerably in recent years, the same can not be said of the division of household chores. Even in households where both work, most of the responsibilities in the home are still left to women. In 2007, 90% of women were busy taking care of household chores. Among men, the percentage was only 50%. They also spent on average more than twice the number of weekly hours to these activities than their partners: 22.2 hours, compared with 9.6 for men. The unequal division of domestic tasks is really common even in cases where women have higher income than the man.

Meanwhile in Lima, the headlines in El Comercio related to a survey conducted in Peru found that 78% of women believe that they have the same opportunities as men. The report from the International Labor Organization (ILO), states that women show almost the same level of labor force participation as men (except in construction, transportation, manufacturing and domestic service) and almost the same unemployment rates. In terms of payment, 53% of women answered that there is no wage gap between women and men. However, this is more a wish than a reality, as according to surveys, the gap between the incomes of men and women for the execution of the same work stands at 30 %. At another level, an overwhelming 97% of Peruvian women stated a desire to work. Of this, half prefer to work part time (predominant sector being married women in social class E), while 49% want to work like men (single women predominantly in the classes A and B). Furthermore, 91% believed that women should be independent entrepreneurs.

Race and Economic development in Brazil

This is a link to a nice story taken from Bloomberg about the issue of racial discrimination in Brazil. As the article states "A commodities-led boom is fueling growth; the real beat the Swiss franc as the best-performing major currency during the 12 months through yesterday, gaining 22 percent against the dollar to the franc's 20 percent; Brazil's stock market was No. 1 among the 10 largest over the same period, surging 18.75 percent; and Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings have raised the country's debt rating to investment grade for the first time"

However amongst a number of social, environmental and cultural problems that still face Brazil, the race issue is still something that is rarely openly debated.

"Blacks -- defined by the government and nongovernmental organizations as people who describe themselves as either ``preta'' (black) or mixed-race ``parda'' (brown) -- make up almost half of the population. Of the nation's more than 187 million people, 92.7 million are black and 93.1 million are white; Asians, Indians and those who haven't declared a race make up the rest. On average, they earn little more than half as much as whites, 578.2 reais ($361) a month compared with 1,087.1 reais, according to a report based on 2006 data by IPEA Institute for Applied Economic Research, a government group in Brasilia."

Brazilians and the Green Economy 3

Above is the third part of our set of interviews at the popular weekend market in Lagoa de Conceicao, Florianopolis. We asked the Ecofeira regulars about their attitudes and usage of plastic bags. Interesting responses can be seen above.

Whilst we're on the subject a quick follow up to earlier post about the campaign  “Mude o consumo para não mudar o clima” or “Change the consumer to not change the climate”, the associated climate and consumer site allows users to calculate their carbon usage and offers 21 tips for consumers to be more environmentally friendly.

Brazilians and the Green Economy 2

The video clip above is the second of 3 peices of research conducted by TWRAmericas at the popular weekend Ecofeira market in Lagoa de Conceicao, Florianopolis. On the ongoing debate about green consumerism, thanks to the digital magazine Envolverde for the followingIDEC (the Brazilian Institute for the Defense of the Consumer) and Vitae Civilis (an NGO) have launched a new campaign, named "Mude o consumo para não mudar o clima" or "Change the consumer to not change the climate". The objective of the campaign being to raise the consciousness of consumers in relation to the impact of thier consumption behaviour and offer alternatives with ecologically less damaging consequences.

Football violence in Brazil

Much of the media coverage this week in the Brazilian football press has focused on horrific scenes at the end of the match last Sunday between Avai and Criciuma. When a flare thrown into the Criciuma fans exploded leading to a retired 62 year old fan losing his right hand. There have been many attempts to analyse the roots of the violence that’s still exists within elements of Brazilian football support. TWResearch have worked extensively in England exploring this issue with specific reference to the problems of hooliganism associated with elements of England’s fan base. One of the consequences of FA efforts aligned to broader societal shifts was the increasing presence of female football fans within stadia and more broadly amongst the games customer base. The potential for a broader and more societally representative fan base has been lacking in the weeks media debate here in Brazil. We have reported elsewhere on the continued development of the women’s game in South America and will continue to do so. However, when female officials are accused of throwing matches due to their menstrual cycle by Senior Club Officials and subsequently attacked in public (as happened last year after a game involving Botafogo and Figueirense) , one wonders how the game will attract increasing numbers of women and families into stadiums. On a related topic of violence in football, another issue close to our hearts is the relationship between parental (mis)behaviour on the touchlines and its implications to football at he grassroots level. This clip from the ITV website in the UK (sorry no imbed available) emphasises the global nature of this problem and we hope to have more to follow this up from the Americas soon…

Flexible Education

The need to attain educational and professional qualifications, and to combine such studies with the economic necessity of working to support families are amongst the principal concerns of young people across South America.

Research identified the need to encourage forms and systems of education that do not force young people to quit work and encourage more flexible hours of courses. One niche area of work for young people in Brazil is telemarketing and for this reason research focused on this sector. Findings of the report identified that a majority of young Brazilians employed in this sector do so to fund continuing higher education. Other findings back up the results of recent research which highlighted fears of security and sustainable development as being most pressing amongst young people on the continent.

Research was conducted with 960 interviewees, principally with young people in social movements in six countries and managed by 2 Brazilian Institutes: Ibase and Polis (Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas e Instituto de Estudos Formação e Assessoria em Políticas Sociais.



World Aids Day...100,000 Condoms...'experimento elástico'


What better excuse than today being World Aids Day, to put up a clip of our very own Lara Vainer discussing her recent involvement researching on the project 'experimento elastico' with artist Adriana Bertini. The innovative project is part of the “Muro Graphia” programme funded by SESC in Sao Paulo. The project which has just come to a finish has seen Lara and Adriana working with up to 300 teens from some of the cities poorest neighbourhoods to create artistic designs solely from condoms. Along side the art work was a programme of evealuation and health awareness. More postings with clips of Lara discussing the research findings and implications of such programmes by going here… but there’s a taster below…