Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Women in the social clubs are the soul of the Diaspora

They never stop. They bring values and traditions. They are true heroes and leaders. However, often they dance alone...
This is a group of volunteers working at Graciosa Community Centre in Toronto during Christmas dinner for families.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Should schools pay poor kids to do well? - Pagar jovens para bons resultados escolares?

“Paying  kids to do well in school gets low marks from many experts.But hiring them as paid mentors or to assist in local research projects — essentially giving them a school-based, part-time job so they can help out their families — is worth exploring, they say.“Paying for grades, it’s something that just sounds like a bribe,” said Jeff Kugler, executive director of the Centre for Urban Schooling at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.“I think that if it’s part of a project or process they’re involved in with the school, or if they’re mentoring another kid in the building, that’s work, and people do that for money anyway.”
Chris Spence, director of education for the Toronto District School Board, recently floated the idea of giving needy kids cash for doing well in school.He’s created an anti-poverty task force to look at a variety of options to help at-risk youth. Spence has also suggested paying parents for things like getting a library card. But the success of such programs has been limited. In New York, a three-year pilot that gave parents money to take their children to the dentist or paid children for good attendance — up to $50 a month — saw no improvements in grades or attendance. High school students who were already doing well did better on standardized tests and earned more credits, but those who were falling behind saw no gains. Philip Oreopoulos, a University of Toronto economics professor currently teaching at Harvard University, conducted research on incentives for post-secondary students at a Canadian university.
One group was offered a scholarship worth anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 if they earned certain grades; another group received academic support, course review sessions and mentoring; another group received both, and the final group, none.
“The results were coming from the women,” he said. “The men did not respond to any of the initiatives.” More at: http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/education/article/892697--should-schools-pay-poor-kids-to-do-well

Kristin Rushowy

Devem as escolas pagar aos estudantes despriviligiados?

Pagar crianças pobres para se esforçarem e terem boas notas é uma ideia que não tem recebido apoio dos especialistas na área do ensino.

Porem, contratar estudantes como mentores que serão pagos para ajudarem outros alunos em projectos de pesquisa – dando-lhes essencialmente um programa escolar baseado num trabalho em part-time para que com o dinheiro ganho possam ajudar as suas famílias - é uma ideia que vale a pena explorar
 "Compensar os jovens para que tenham boas notas incentivando o empenho na qualidade e nas suas capacidades, é subornar um individuo ", defende a propósito Jeff Kugler, diretor-executivo do Centro Urbano de Escolaridade no Instituto de Estudos em Educação da Universidade de Toronto.
"Acho que se houver um programa misto que seja parte de um projecto ou no qual os estudantes estejam envolvidas com a escola, ou onde eles desempenhem algum trabalho tutório ajudando outra criança concordo e é um trabalho, que as  pessoas já fazem por dinheiro. "

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

BUILDING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES with the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

An informative seminar to learn about how to access exciting business opportunities with the To­ronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will take place in Toronto in partnership with FPCBP.
“Meet the decision-makers of the Pan/Parapan American Games. Discover how the Pan/Parapan Games work. Learn about the Pan Am Village.
The 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games is an extraordinary sports celebration that is expected to attract 10,000 athletes and officials from 42 countries and 250,000 tourists. The Games will generate more than 15,000 jobs, bring improved and new sports facilities to the region and leave an important sport, culture and economic legacy.
The keynote Speaker, Mr. Ian Troop, CEO for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will highlight the Pan Am Games’ vision for the Games as a catalyst for business opportunities. Mr. Troop will be joined by Antonio de Santiago, Executive Vice President, Infrastructure Ontario and Paul Saunders, President, MERX Networks Inc. (MERX is Canada’s leading electronic tendering service).
The Games will bring significant opportunities for a wide range of businesses within Toronto and the GTA in­cluding: Construction, Media & Communications, Restaurants & Catering, Advertising, Travel, Real Estate, Land­scaping, Florists, Transportation, as well as many other services and products.
The speakers will provide valuable information and outline business opportunities leading up to and during the Pan Am Games as well as information on the procurement process for the Games and other opportunities.
For more information, visit the Toronto 2015 website: http://www.toronto2015.org/

Sunday, November 7, 2010

FOOD for your eyes and palate - Comida para os olhos e boca!

Food is love! Food is friendship. Food is heritage. Food is life and a wonderful way to enjoy family, friends. It also gives us time to relax and enjoy privacy in our kitchens - away from the constraints of the world - enhanced by a nice glass of wine.

Food is often a sensual ingredient in our lives. I enjoy cooking and love to get into traditional recipes and give them a twist of my own. Here are 2 pics of my very own red been soup with kale, squash, patato and some pork.


Kids celebrate soccer with families

Portuguese cultural clubs are eager to tract young members. Many mistakes were done by not giving youth and women  place in the decision making process.

The results  now: young people don't come to the clubs and associations.

But it seems that the trend is changing. Lots of young people at Futebol Clube do Porto in Toronto yesterday for the celebration os another anniversary.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"illegaly blonde" a young luso-canadian journey

Imagine being an immigrant parent who worked hard to give the best to their kids and one day is informed by authorities that she or he has to abandon the country they came to in search for a new life to give their kids.

Imagine a teen being told that he or she has to follow their immigrant parents and begin a new life in a place that says nothing to them, taken from friends and school.

This is a reality we are all well aware of. Stories of kids and weeping parents making headlines in the media.
Nelsa Roberto, a luso-canadian writer from Toronto took the challenge to tell the story of a young girl whose family is deported to Portugal.

"illegaly blonde" is a journey every luso-canadian kid and family should acknowledge, because..."
Sometimes discovering your roots is about more than watching your real hair colour grow in ? When seventeen-year-old Lucy do Amaral comes home with bleached blonde hair she expects a major lecture and another grounding from her strict Portuguese parents. What she doesn't expect is the shocking news that her family are illegal aliens who've just been told they're being deported in less than a week. Lucy's furious at being forced to leave her boyfriend and miss prom to go live in some backwater village in a country she knows nothing about. But as Lucy discovers, intentions and reality are sometimes worlds apart -- or an ocean away..."

"illegaly blonde" published by Winnipeg Free Press is available Online. Stay tunned. More on the book and its author soon!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Where do we go from here? - Condoleezza Rice in Toronto

Condoleezza Rice is going to be in Toronto. An interesting opportunity to listen and to learn.
No matter if you agreed with her positions in many issues while she was in power.
"Where do we go from here?" - a question you can help to answer!
Rice will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on November  2.


Ayan Mohamed Jama AND Huriyo Ibrahim

SOMALI GIRLS EXECUTED by Islamist militia


Ayan, your lips have been ripped by famished dogs

your sweet nipples slashed

lay flawless on the desert of nothingness.

Amputated they cry tears of white silk

the soothing balm that feeds a thirsty godless land.

Your womb is fertile and dormant

“Allah is great” for you will not sprout more tongues

to insanity…thanks to the putrid puss they vomit

fertilizing ignorance and poverty.

Ayan Mohamed Jama rests now under her veil

She is free, for Ayan will no more wake to see
her God’s perfect body grow – in beauty and aroma,
a lily on a valley of thorns 
wasted, slandered, abused, amputated
scorned by the disciples of a devilish tempest
that whips the land under screams of mothers.
Ayan sees through the blindfolds
she sings and dances joining Huriyo Ibrahim
Sweet 15…


To all the girls that have been abused by religion, killed by the state, or by their fathers and brothers in the name of a God that doesn't exist.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DiasporaWomen/Mulher da Diáspora



The Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals is pleased to once again recognize the outstanding achievement of our Luso-Canadian Youth with scholarships ranging from $1,000.00 to $2,500.00, courtesy of our many generous scholarship sponsors. Awards will be presented at the FPCBP Excellence Awards Gala to be held on February 12, 2011. To be eligible students must be enrolled in one of the following four program categories: High School, College, University Undergraduate program or University Graduate program. An applicant is not eligible for an award in a given program category if the applicant has been a past winner of a FPCBP scholarship in the same program category. In the case of the University Graduate program, the applicant is eligible for an award if a past award was made while the applicant was enrolled in a different degree program (i.e. MA, PhD, LLB, M.D.)
Tel:  416-537-8874  416-537-8874 ; Fax: 416-537-9706
www.fpcbp.com  <http://www.fpcbp.com

If you have received previously a Bursary tell us your story and how important it was for your life as a student.


"What an incredible 8 months… what a great campaign! I am so honoured and humbled to be the Councillor-Elect for Ward 18. This could not have been possible without your unwavering support and your tireless energy. For that, I am truly grateful.

This campaign has been about our community from the very beginning – after all, that is what lies at the heart of everything we care about. Your vote of confidence reflects your desire for change, and I will continue to make your voice and your concerns my first priority.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to my campaign management team – your enthusiasm and commitment to this community were critical to our success. Together, we faced many challenges but your positive attitude and your commitment to Davenport kept us moving forward. You were a constant inspiration to me and I know we will continue to work together to make our community, our city, the best place in the world.

To the hundreds of volunteers who contributed to this campaign – I cannot thank you enough! Your heartfelt efforts make me so, so proud - I am reminded every day of the way that people really love this community. You put so much joyful energy into the work you did. Without you, this would not have been possible. You contributed so much, so often – and you gave our community reason to hope again.

To every campaign supporter who has donated time, money, energy, food, and most importantly, ideas – you are the reason I will continue to strive for the best for you and for Davenport. Your contributions have not gone unnoticed – in fact, they reflect the deep love and care that already exists for this community.

We have accomplished much together. The campaign may be over but the real work for change is only just beginning. As I’ve said before, I will get to work as soon as I am sworn in. You are my neighbours, friends, and family – thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you with all the heart, mind, and spirit I have.

Let’s work together to make Davenport the best place to live and work!"

Ana Bailão

Councillor Elect - Ward 18

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DiasporaWomen/Mulher da Diáspora

DiasporaWomen/Mulher da Diáspora

Imagine a dormant volcano;

Golden rocks; Bathing in warm pools  where the water flows from the earths boiling core; gardens with swans and  botanic species that came as far as Asia;

Blue ocean surrounding your senses; Mountains that touch heaven, Fountains of fresh water; Whales and dauphins; A land kissed  by the rain while the rainbow embraces its valleys.

That is Azores. For more visit: http://www.cometoazores.net/index.php?lang=en

Direct flights with SATA EXPRESS! http://www.azores-express.com/pt-pt

Ana Bailão wins Ward 18 - Ana Bailão ganha Bairro 18

A comunidade portuguesa votou e vê uma vez mais um nome português na vereação do município de Toronto.

Ana Bailão 6277 44%
Kevin Beaulieu 4911 34%
Frank De Jong 869 6%
A grande viragem também na Câmara Municipal que elegeu Rob Ford numa vereaçãocomposta por 44 vereadores e maioritariamente pouco  favorável a Ford.

Toronto Votes:

Ford, Rob – Votes: 353,408 Voting percentage: 47.11
Smitherman, George – Votes: 266,460 Voting percentage: 35.52
Pantalone, Joe – Votes: 88,811 Voting percentage: 11.83
In Ward 17 the Portuguese Tony Letra was voted in third place. Nothing new  - unfortunately at the Toronto District School Board where Fifteen of 16 incumbent trustees running for re-election to kept their seats, including in Ward 9 Maria Rodrigues.

Migrant Women and the Media - Mulheres Migrantes e os Media

Migrant Women and the Media was the focus of an event last Sunday - Oct 24 - at Casa do Alentejo in Toronto.

Event Planners: Portuguese Migrant Women, Managing Editor IMF/ESF and Casa do Alentejo. We want to thank MPP Laura Albanese, Maria Manuela Aguiar former Portuguese Secretary of State for Migration and Julio Vilela the Portuguese Consul in Toronto for their presence and support.

As jornalistas na diáspora e a formação profissional

Boa tarde e muito obrigado pela oportunidade que me é dada por esta organização –  a Associação da Mulher Migrante - para ajudar na organização deste evento e falar, pela segunda vez  da minha experiência como jornalista na Diáspora.

Gostaria de vos falar de uma questão que acho extremamente importante para a valorização da mulher jornalista na Diáspora, que é a questão da formação profissional e as novas tecnologias.

Reportando-me um pouco a Portugal e baseando-me em dados apresentados pela pesquisadora Filipa Subtil - Socióloga da Escola Superior de Comunicação Social do Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa - antes do 25 de Abril as mulheres quase não existiam nos jornais.

Segundo dados do Sindicato dos Jornalistas de 1995, elas representavam cerca de 30% do total dos profissionais. Na altura, dizia esta socióloga, ao lado dos grandes proprietários das empresas de imprensa não se encontra nenhuma mulher.
Situação idêntica ocorria na direcção dos principais jornais, rádios e televisões com algumas excepções principalmente nos órgãos de comunicação social dirigidas ao público feminino, nomeadamente revistas.
São também escassos os cargos de chefia ocupados por mulheres nas redacções. A elite jornalística continua, portanto, a ser predominantemente masculina, o que significa que o ingresso das mulheres na profissão não tem correspondido idêntico acesso a lugares de relevo. No jornalismo, as mulheres encontram-se, na sua esmagadora maioria, a desempenhar funções de execução” ‘ dizia ainda esta socióloga.

Parece-me que estes são factos que nada de novo trazem a esta discussão, pois são bem conhecidos de todos e de todas e reflectem-se sobremaneira nas redacções dos Órgãos de Comunicação Social das comunidades.

Tem-se assistido em Portugal e aqui também, com as gerações mais jovens da diáspora portuguesa, que a chegada de uma nova geração de mulheres ao jornalismo coincide com a chegada feminina em massa a certas profissões liberais.
A crescente profissionalização feminina esta assim relacionada com os níveis de instrução escolar.
Portanto há que aceitar que o aumento da escolaridade e as habilitações por ele propiciadas são fundamentais para a compreendermos este processo.

Apesar de sabermos que uma credencial universitária – pelo menos na minha geração e nas que me antecederam - não constituiu condição necessária para se ingressar na profissão, hoje um dos mais importantes campos de recrutamento é o meio universitário, nomeadamente a frequência dos cursos de comunicação e jornalismo.

Devo dizer que para o encontro que tivemos sobre o Acordo Ortográfico na passada sexta-feira e este de hoje pretendi fazer um inquérito a todos os O C Social escritos e não só - incluindo rádio, televisão e online – para em primeiro lugar saber se aplicavam  o Acordo – nos casos dos media escritos - e em segundo para perceber um pouco sobre a situação da mulher nos media comunitários.

DOS 22 – inclui dois jornais dos Estados Unidos - e no que diz respeito à escrita de uma dúzia inquiridos em Montreal, Estados Unidos, Vancouver e Toronto 3 responderam:
Em Montreal dois estão a aplicar o Acordo: O lusopresse e o Voz de Portugal - embora deixando em aberto a aplicação ou não do mesmo por parte dos colaboradores.

No que diz respeito às mulheres as perguntas eram simples e estas:

- Quantas mulheres trabalham no seu OCS?
- Em que departamentos?
- Quantas a tempo inteiro, ou freelancer ou part-time?

Fugimos de salários, preços de trabalho à peca, pagamentos a hora? Pagamentos por palavra? Fotos incluídas ou não? … ou qualquer questão que pudesse ser mais sensível,

Destes 22 OCS questionados só três responderam também sobre a questão da mulher:

1 jornal de Toronto tem 10 mulheres empregadas pela produção, vendas e colaboração escrita.
Duas a tempo inteiro. Duas freelancer e as restantes colaboradoras.

Em Montreal um jornal tem 5 colaboradoras regulares e são beneméritas, portanto não recebem pelo trabalho que fazem. O outro semanário não tem nenhuma mulher no seu elenco.

Nada de novo que me surpreendesse. O que me surpreendeu foi o silêncio!

Esta realidade - a  do silêncio por parte dos órgãos directivos destes OCS - tem decerto consequências efectivas no sistema profissional, sendo um dos factores que vai influenciar o futuro das mulheres nos nossos órgãos de comunicação social comunitários, que já começam a enfrentar problemas sérios com  colaboradores e trabalhadores a chegarem a idade da reforma , muitos desadaptados/as das novas realidades e transformações profundas que as comunidades estão a enfrentar e, claro  lutando contra novas formas de fazer informação e de chegar a um publico mais alargado, que como vocês todos sabem é cada vez mais um publico bilingue e onde a informação em língua portuguesa começa a sofrer fortes estrangulamentos, pois não se dirige ao publico mais jovem e cujos conteúdos não se adaptaram de forma alguma a estas novas realidades.

Isto claro para não falar em pormenor dos grandes desafios que enfrentam as jornalistas que há muitos anos trabalham na comunidade. Desafios estes relacionados com o acesso às novas tecnologias, a inovadoras formas de informar, - o blog, o tweeter, o Facebook, o portal só para falar de alguns - e claro a formação profissional, que não se esgota nos princípios ético-profissionais e práticos de fazer a noticia, mas que se estendem claro ao mundo do virtual, do saber mover-se no universo da Internet, de perceber a forma de apresentar e produzir novos conteúdos e saber como aproveitar as oportunidades para neste novo ambiente  ser capaz de encontrar uma liberdade económica que lhe permita florir e sair de uma certa escravidão financeira que tem vivido.

Apesar de um crescente ingresso das jovens migrantes no ensino superior e mesmo na área da media, estas jovens não estão a encontrar espaço nos nossos órgãos de comunicação social para imprimirem um novo fôlego aos nossos media, não só claro por causa da língua – embora em alguns casos haja profissionais jovens com capacidade para se exprimirem na língua portuguesa – mas muito especialmente porque as condições são de  estrangular à partida qualquer tentativa de ASSALTO aos media portugueses por parte das gerações mais novas, neste caso jovens mulheres com formação adequada e preparadas para enfrentar os desafios, que se aproximam.

Ainda há dias alguém que trabalha num semanário aqui em Toronto dizia que não recebia há quatro meses! Quatro meses senhoras e senhores. E este jornal sai todas as semanas e muito das suas paginas deve a colaborações externas  - freelancer!
Acham que realmente alguém vai pretender – ingressar num sistema . injusto, caduco e desprovido de respeito pelos seus trabalhadores e trabalhadoras?

“Saber é poder”, mas para a mulher não tem sido muito assim. Porém, cabe às mulheres jornalistas, aqui e agora, aquelas que fazem parte desta geração que começa a cansar-se de fazer informação todos os dias, de ter ainda que montar o jornal, tirar as fotografias, andar a procura de publicidade, paginar e ainda distribuir – isto no caso de alguma imprensa – em circunstancias diferentes nos outros media - de dizer BASTA - rejuvenescendo profissionalmente e dizendo estou aqui.

A situação porque passam muitas jornalistas só se deve também a elas próprias.

Para algumas pessoas escrever num jornal ou aparecer na televisão é um privilegio tão grande dado por uns senhores muito importantes e muito reconhecidos na sociedade, que se tornam, por vezes inconscientemente de tal forma servis esquecendo-se que primeiro do que tudo estão os princípios éticos da profissão; em segundo lugar, no caso da jornalista a sua dignidade como mulher e trabalhadora com direitos iguais aos colegas homens pressionado para que esta sua presença nestes mesmos órgãos de comunicação social reflicta uma forma diferente de fazer jornalismo, interessando-se e defendendo do silencio mais de metade da população esquecida, que são as mulheres, crianças e idosas e imprimir no seu trabalho um cunho próprio, independente e que sirva de exemplo às gerações mais novas sabendo fazer frente ao poder, seja ele qual for em defesa dos seus direitos e dos direitos daquelas que chegam depois.

Quando ouço muitos e muitas jornalistas dizerem que trabalham tanto, que não têm salários dignos, que não têm palavra a dizer e que estão ali para  fazer o que aparece e que lhe mandam, a qualquer hora do dia ou da noite, muitas vezes contra princípios ético-profissionais -  digo também. PARA AI!
Herdaste o que te deixaram. MAS continuaste e não contribuíste para modificar a situação.

E agora permitem-me só que lhes diga como acho que tal pode ser possível!
A formação profissional é o primeiro passo a dar. Estamos num pais que oferece muitas oportunidades de formação na área da comunicação e jornalismo.
Porque não aproveitar?
Porque não voltar ao colégio para rejuvenescer ingressando em cursos oferecidos que vão desde as praticas bases do jornalismo aos novos media, como a Internet e as possibilidades que ela oferece para expandir ideias e conhecer outras pessoas em circunstâncias idênticas.

Porque não fazer parte de organismos canadianos dos media comunitários aproveitando as oportunidades que existem também nas áreas do desenvolvimento profissional, da troca de conhecimentos e ideias com outras jornalistas.

Porque não integrar-se mais no país em que vivem participando e cobrindo eventos fora da comunidade mas que são cruciais para que as mulheres na diáspora saibam mais sobre a sociedade em que vivem e que se interessem mais pela leitura dos jornais.

Porque não unirem-se nas comunidades e não se esconderem no silêncio com medo de que as suas frustrações e necessidades sejam ouvidas mostrando que têm coragem e que são donas de ideias próprias, diferentes, ousadas em vez de andarem sob o guarda-chuva de meia dúzia que tomaram conta comunicação social nas comunidades e que usam o seu poder dentro e fora das redacções?

Porque não indagar sobre as possibilidades que o estado português, através da Secretaria de Estado das Comunidades e o Sindicato dos jornalistas e o seu Centro de Formação possa oferecer lembrando-se que aqui existem jornalistas que necessitam de acompanhamento e apoio?

O jornalismo feito pelas mulheres é e deve ser um jornalismo diferente. Conhecer e interessar-se pelas questões da mulher no seu todo são fundamentais para que estes temas sejam trazidos à baila, discutidos e analisados pela comunidade.
Por vezes porque temos duvidas e não temos a quem perguntar – ou porque temos medo ou vergonha de questionar – acabamos por fazer sempre o que os outros querem. A formação profissional contínua ensina-nos a entender o mundo em que vivemos e a aproveitar as novas oportunidades que existem.
MAS as coisas não vão mudar se não formos nós próprias – as mulheres jornalistas a mudarem e a imporem novos valores que devem ser baseados no profissionalismo, na cidadania e na compreensão do mundo em que vivemos.

A escolaridade feminina em qualquer profissão induz mudanças graduais no estatuto social das mulheres, nas relações sociais e profissionais.
A mudança que se quer também no panorama mediático não deve assentar na fragilidade estrutural das empresas de comunicação social que têm como estratégia de rentabilidade formas de precariedade laboral ligadas ao recrutamento de mão-de-obra barata onde se inclui a feminina, que tal como em muitos outras empresas as mulheres imigrantes são expostas à subcontratação.
Ela deve assentar no direito que advem do conhecimento e da cidadania!

Para terminar que já me alonguei demais, gostaria de alertar para o facto de que temos muitas mulheres nos OCS aqui mesmo em Toronto mas que aqui não estão.
As direcções dos jornais foram alertadas para este evento e pedido que informassem as suas trabalhadoras desta oportunidade.
MAS elas não estão aqui como também não estiveram na nossa discussão sobre o Acordo Ortográfico na passada sexta-feira.
Porque? Parece-me que muitas das respostas já aqui foram dadas. MAS quero ainda acrescentar que por vezes, porque estas mulheres para sobreviverem precisam de ter mais do que um emprego, o tempo para a formação e valorização não aparece e dai também se esgotam as oportunidades de mudar a situação.

Termino agradecendo a Associação da Mulher Migrante por esta oportunidade com um pedido de sensibilização das autoridades portuguesas para que apoiem também a formação dos e das jornalistas na diáspora.

Talvez possa parecer estranho ou impossível, mas as oportunidades dos novos media não são conhecidas nem aproveitados ainda por muitas mulheres que trabalham nos Órgãos de Comunicação Social.
A Internet é ainda um monstro que precisa ser dominado, mas nada pode ser feito se  não forem as próprias mulheres nesta profissão a olharem para si, para a comunidade e para os seus locais de trabalho de forma diferente.

Os OCS são um sector chave para a mudança de representações e valores. O aumento de mulheres esclarecidas nos cargos de tomada de decisão e trabalho criativo dentro da indústria dos media, é essencial para influenciar o conteúdo dos programas e dos jornais promovendo imagens positivas do papel da mulher na sociedade e garantir que as gerações mais jovens herdem sistemas mais justos de trabalho e de oportunidades de valorização e progressão na carreira.

Muito Obrigado
Humberta Araujo

Time to remember the work of Maria Alice Ribeiro the first Portuguese Migrant Journalist in Toronto and co-founder of the first Portuguese newspaper in Ontario The Portuguese Courier"
Malice died in 2000.

Recognized as a "fearless journalist she is missed by all and she was a voice that the community needs today" - Friend, co-worker and President of Casa do Alentejo  Armando Viegas.

Jose Saramago was also remembered by Casa Do Alentejo with readings and book launches

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good Bye - Adeus

“Tasting the corners of each pulsing branch
She mapped that gusty craze
It had long been desiccated.
Mislaid tongues
It became clear
On the day of outage
when poetry walked the road of oblivion:
it was no more than a wintry seize
Rallying through the streets of departure.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

We rise

“I love you”
The blue bird answers with a melody
While he vanishes…free!

What was he told
on high seas
Rocking on a nut shell…free!

Was it fear
of the cold?
A kiss

Republican Women out of the Shadows


In the beginning of the XX century a feminist and republican movement made history in
Portugal. In a country where there was no tradition of feminine participation in public life an elite of highly cultured, courageous and strong-minded women came suddenly out of the shadows, with the support of republican leaders, in defense of democratic ideals and righteous causes, like education for all, equal civil laws and universal suffrage.
Suffrage was a promise never fulfilled and the cause of immediate dissent among the heads of the feminist movement, because some of them were more feminists than republicans, and others definitely more republicans than suffragists, even if they all remained faithful to the new regime. Did their natural moderation and their innate republican complicity with their male partners – husbands, family and friends - play against them?
In the end, they won their main battle through future generations of women and they are alive in the memory of the Republic today.

Feminist movements were in fast development in
Europe from mid nineteen century on, with its main focus on suffrage. Portugal made no exception. However the first initiatives that started by the end the XIX century were restricted to a limited circle of believers on equality of sex and the circle did not expand much until 1907-1908, on the verge of the change of regime, and, when it did, it was by direct interference of republican prominent leaders – all men, of course. This particularity would, in my opinion, give historical feminism in Portugal its quite unique features and destiny, because it was supposed to become an asset to the republican cause, as well as to the cause of the emancipation of women. If not for that reason, the country did not seem to have much in its favor to be singled out for accomplishments in this special field. As in other southern European societies there was no tradition of women playing a role in public life. We know that throughout the centuries our historians portrayed a few outstanding women, monarchs, heads of state or acting as such, very influential and powerful Queens of Portugal, ruling side by side with their husbands or descent, unexpected fighters in heroic battles in faraway lands of the empire - in the Portuguese half of the world as divided by a Pope... - and a few remarkable writers, poets, artists, and even leaders or participants of mass upraises, the last one alive in the memory of the people being the legendary Maria da Fonte – who inspired one the hymns of the Republic, still sung in official ceremonies . They were accepted and admired by their contemporaries as exceptions - our own iron ladies.
However, European ideas, tendencies, social movements, sooner or later, had its effects among us and later than sooner "feminism" did. By
1902, a leading intellectual and feminist Carolina Michaelis de Vasconcelos - German born, Portuguese by marriage, and the first woman to belong to the Academy of Sciences and to become professor of the University of Coimbra - wrote that there was no women's organization at all in the country and that from her point of view, that of someone born and brought up abroad, women’s political participation was unthinkable, seen as unnatural by Portuguese standards (1). At the time, French or British feminists were already promoting huge marches of protest against discrimination through the avenues of Paris or London. In 1903, Mrs. Pankhurst was engaged in setting up the "Women Social and Political Union". In 1910, the so called suffragettes, her potent and radical movement, organized a march that extended for several miles along the streets of London on the way to the parliament, the very day a proposal on feminine suffrage was defeated. Over 200 MP'S had supported it - many, but not enough... In the same circumstances, every time an electoral law denied them the right to vote, the Portuguese put all their indignation in a carefully and beautifully written paper or asked for an audience to express their disillusion to a sympathetic but ineffective high dignitary - the President of the Republic himself, or the Prime Minister, or the Speaker of the House... (2).
In this domain, accomplishments or lack of them have more to do with a cultural gap “north-south” than with the nature of the regime. Stable Nordic monarchies like Denmark, Norway and Sweden, did not need to envisage a change of system in order to improve women's status and they did set an example of good laws and good practices much earlier than the two revolutionary Republics, France and Portugal, and many other countries in the world...(3).
Denmark, women were on the way to get the right to vote at local level (1908) even if they had to wait until 1915 to equal unrestricted vote in all elections and until 1921 to access to all careers, army excepted. In Norway, Camilia Collet was a pioneer activist, since 1884, followed, in the beginning of the new century, by Gina Kroeg, founder of the "Union for Working Women". Norwegian women advanced step by step, first as full members of School Councils (1889), Social Security Councils (1890), and Municipal Councils (1901). In 1907 they were recognized as citizens with the right to vote at local and at national level. In 1911 the first Norwegian woman was elected to parliament. By 1912 most of the careers in the public sector were open to them. In Sweden clever support of the cause in the literary domain and religious ideals of fraternity seem to have played a more important role than legal arguments or the involvement of political personalities, mainly through the thesis and action of Frederika Bremer, contemporary of feminist writers like Ibsen or Ellen Key and herself an acknowledged writer, literary critic and a great speaker and campaigner as well. Sweden was the last northern country to approve legislation on women’s vote and eligibility for the parliament in 1919, three years later than Island. Finland had been the earliest. In 1906 an electoral law was passed and in 1907 the first female parliamentarian was elected. Southern Europe pursued the trend much later. In fact, in that geographical and cultural area only Spain was ahead of Portugal. (4)

FEMINISM IN PORTUGAL - A brief chronology

As predictable knowing the dominant mentality on what concerned women's participation in politics, the feminist movement never got much visibility and wide-ranging recognition. Even historians, nowadays, tend to under evaluate the influence it had in the birth of the new era. The history of Portuguese women is still in waiting, unwritten to the full extent of its worth as Elina Guimarães, the last survivor of that dazzling generation, appropriately asserted. (5 ) But facts are available for research... Women were there as the living proof that the feminine half of the republic was capable of living up to the social and cultural revolutionary ideals of gender equality, along with the principles of a new order in State and society. In fact, Portuguese feminism was never a vast mass movement, and although it engrossed gradually with a significant number of strong-willed, well-learned women, it was not to be as successful as it should have been, for several reasons. None had to do with their own capacity to make things work out better, in other time, other place… When you assess their culture or political “savoir faire” as expressed in so many speeches, and writings, you find no “gap” at all, looking at feminist leaders all over Europe... Among them, before and after the revolution, there are illustrious medical doctors, like Adelaide Cabete or Carolina Ângelo, writers like Ana de Castro Osório, Sara Beirão or Maria Lamas, teachers like Maria Veleda, Clara Correia Alves or Alice Pestana, journalists like Albertina Paraíso or Virgínia Quaresma, lawyers like Regina Quintanilha or Elina Guimarães (then a young law graduate).
A distinguished elite, in the company of a minority of few thousands of female citizens, unfortunately more and more divided, like republican politicians themselves, yet not for the same reasons - rather because some of the feminists, as the revolution went on and left them behind, took it better than others. Regrettably, they had a late appearance in the course of action for Women’s rights, they occupied their political and civic space for more or less 20 years and then their lessons or patterns of civic intervention were practically forgotten and lost, after the collapse of the Republic and the advent of a long and misogynous dictatorship, never to regain the same human dimension and radiance.
We will briefly look into these two decades- from 1906/7 to 1926.Initiatives undertaken in the end of the XIX century, interesting as they were, as the first “Feminist Congress” ,in 1892, or the first feminine newspaper (A Fronda) ,in 1897, had such limited impact that Carolina Michaelis in her essays on feminine enterprises does not take them into due consideration. In
1904, a few brave women did participate in the first "Congress of Freethinking" ( Congresso do Livre Pensamento) - names that would be part of the history of the Republic, like Adelaide Cabete and Maria Veleda, among others. Congresses, huge political meetings, as well as daily activities in republican centers played an important role in mobilizing public support that made the impossible revolution possible. Women suddenly became partners accepted and welcomed, sharing the intense and clever effort of republican propaganda widened by such means. Many of them got drawn in the daily life of Mason organizations, in journalism, in associations providing all kinds of social help to children and needy girls or women, including educational and vocational training. By the turning of the century, republican centers and clubs were being set up all over the country, to promote social and cultural activities, publishing papers and leaflets, in an attempt to spread the Republican Party line, the promises of an era of freedom, prosperity, democracy and equal participation for all. Women gained access to such clubs, mainly in Lisbon and other minor cosmopolitan urban areas. It was the proper way to prepare them for future headship and political commitment, even if, as we cannot ignore, they were given the opportunity to work for the victory of the republican cause rather than for the advance of their suffragist agenda, as they would soon find out...
In 1908, influential personalities, like Ana de Castro Osório and Adelaide Cabete were invited by António José de Almeida and other major members of the party to join the Portuguese Republican Party (PRP) in an organization of their own, the "Republican League of Portuguese Women". In 1909, the "League” became a formal structure of the party. In 1911, the denial of the suffrage in the legislation approved in March and April, grounded discontent that would lead to the coming apart of the "League". Mrs. Osório and Dr. Carolina Ângelo set up the "Association on Feminine Propaganda" (Associação de Propaganda Feminista") that became a member of the "International Women Suffrage Alliance". In
1913, a new electoral law unequivocally excluded female citizens. In 1914, another founder of the "League", Dr. Cabete formed the "National Council of Portuguese Women” (Conselho National das Mulheres Portuguesas), that was admitted to the International Council of Women, another international suffragist organization. (6)
In 1918, the electoral Law-decree, of March 30, did not open suffrage to women, and the same happened in 1919 (Decrees of March 1 and April 11). By then, no major founder remained in the League. They went their separate ways, divided by their different set of priorities. From 1914 to 1918, they were once again reunited in defense of
Portugal participating in the world war. The Committee "Pro Pátria" was founded in 1914 and the “Portuguese Women Cruzade” (Cruzada das Mulheres Portuguesas) in 1916 headed by Ana de Castro Osório. It was her last civic crusade, a last display of great dynamism and courage not only in the diffusion of opinions but also in the direct help of wounded soldiers through “Committees” of nurses, regulated and supported by the government. (7)
In 1924, the I Congress on Feminism and Education (I Congresso Feminista e da Educação) was held. President Teixeira Lopes and future (soon to be) President Bernardino Machado were both there. In 1928, already under dictatorship, without any kind of official support, a second and last Congress took place.
The vote came 3 years later, incongruously by the hand of Salazar, the quintessence of antifeminism - a restricted vote as proposed and as defeated many a time during the 16 agitated years of the first Republic. (8)

Former Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities; Founder and President of the Assembly of the “Mulher Migrante” (Migrant Women -Association for studies and cooperation)