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How 15 has Become a Symbol of Death for Women in Brazil

Credit: Refinery29 / Facebook

A Woman’s Place: Brazil“I think the people want us to be obedient, and sometimes we need not to be.”

How graffiti girls in Brazil are fighting back against the horrific domestic violence in their country.

Posted by Refinery29 on Thursday, October 22, 2015

Real and Present Danger

The danger is real. Every 15 seconds, a woman in Brazil is assaulted by her husband or partner. And every day, 15 Brazilian women are killed according to figures cited by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Panmela Castro, a celebrated artist in Brazil, uses her craft to address domestic violence. She started exploring with graffiti as a way of expression and power.

“I think people want us to be obedient and sometimes we need not be,” says Castro.


Castro is one of many brave female activist featured in A Woman’s Place, the documentary series produced by Refinery29 in partnership with We Are the XX.

“I started making graffiti as a desire to be a man,” says Castro. “But not to be man [in the literal sense], but to have the power that they have. I started a group with graffiti artists who were all men, at the time there were no graffiti women artists. I was super masculine. I had to speak like them and dress like them to be accepted.”

Credit: Panmela Castro / Facebook

Castro also believes that domestic violence is a cultural problem in Brazil.

“We have a big problem …most of the women that suffer from domestic violence is because they are not obedient. I think the people want us to be obedient, and sometimes we need not to be.”

To learn more about Castro and other inspiring activists visit the following link.

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