Rio’s city council approves last Marielle Franco projects – sort of

. May 03, 2018
marielle franco "Who killed Marielle Franco?"
marielle franco

“Who killed Marielle Franco?”

Rio de Janeiro’s city council assembled on Wednesday to vote on the final projects of Rio de Janeiro’s iconic councilwoman Marielle Franco. Franco, who was murdered on March 14 in what police believe was a politically motivated killing, was only elected in October 2016, yet had been one of the municipality’s most active politicians. Franco introduced 13 laws within her first 13 months in office, asserting the rights of the city’s Afro-Brazilians, women, LGBTQ population and its favelas.

While city lawmakers did vote on five of the seven remaining bills, two were left out – and both of were among Franco’s dearest: one concerning the regulation of legal abortions (which are allowed in cases of rape, health risks for the mother, and babies lacking brains), and another one protecting the right to gender identity in schools.

</p> <p>Prior to the sitting, Franco’s team created an <a href="">online campaign</a> to pressure the city’s politicians into voting in favor of the bills. Within the campaign’s first 24 hours, residents had sent more than 10,000 emails to city councilors demanding they pass Franco’s projects.</p> <p>“The bills proposed by the city councilwoman are essential for the lives of women, the black population, LGBT and favela residents of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro – and cannot be interrupted by the murder of Marielle,” reads part of the template email received by Rio’s municipal politicians. By the time the lawmakers left the building this evening, they had collectively received over 14,000 emails.</p> <p>City councilors also voted to name the chamber’s <a href="">rostrum</a> after Marielle Franco, placing a new plaque on its front. “The place of many battles that Marielle fought, and that we will still fight,” <a href="">tweeted</a> Franco’s fellow PSOL councilor David Miranda.</p> <p>Here’s <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong>’s breakdown of Franco’s final projects.</p> <h3><strong>Approved: PL 17/2017 – The Night Owl Space</strong></h3> <p>The Night Owl Space (Espaço Coruja) is a night-time crèche, where parents can leave their children if they are working late shifts or studying. This creates a formal measure to ensure that women working a ‘double shift’ – balancing childcare and household maintenance alongside their paid employment or studies – can more easily maintain that balance, rather than having to drop either their education or paycheck.</p> <h3><strong>Approved: PL 417/2017 – Harassment Isn’t a Passenger</strong></h3> <p>Councilors approved Franco’s proposal to create a permanent campaign against sexual harassment in public spaces. ‘Harassment Isn’t a Passenger’ (<em>Assédio não é passageiro</em>) is an awareness campaign designed to reduce sexual harassment and violent threats faced by women on public transport and in Rio’s public spaces.</p> <h3>Approved: PL 555/2017 – Carioca Woman’s Dossier</h3> <p>The Carioca Woman’s Dossier (<em>Dossiê Mulher Carioca</em>) will compile municipal data to form public policies focusing specifically on women’s experiences in the city. Areas to be targeted for policy creation will include healthcare, social assistance, and human rights.</p> <h3>Approved: PL 515/2017 – Establishing socio-educational measures for semi-liberty young offenders</h3> <p>This bill holds Rio’s municipal government accountable to fulfilling its legal obligations to young offenders in semi-liberty (similar to a halfway house). By law, young offenders should all be beneficiaries of socio-educational, rehabilitative measures that allow them to develop employable skills and enter the workforce.</p> <h3>Approved: PL 103/2017 &#8211; Tereza de Benguela Day</h3> <p>Tereza de Benguela was a renowned <a href=""><em>quilombo</em></a> leader in 18th century Brazil, and has become a symbol of strength and resistance for Afro-descendants. Thanks to Marielle’s proposal, June 25 will be a commemorative date for Tereza de Benguela, as well as Black Women’s Day.</p> <h3>Still to be voted: PL 642/2017 – Free technical public assistance for social housing</h3> <p>The bill proposes free, public technical assistance for the municipality’s residents to design, build, reform and regularize social housing for low-income families. It is designed to support housing rights for low-income families, and could help Rio’s favelas – estimated to make up 24 percent of the city – to build sturdier, safer housing, as well as assert their rights.</p> <h3>Delayed: PL 72/2017 – Combative Day against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia</h3> <p>The bill proposed by Marielle Franco creates a commemorative date for municipal Rio to assert itself in a combative day against homophobia in all its forms. The day would take place on May 17, the date when the International Code of Diseases no longer classified homosexuality as an illness.

Ciara Long

Based in Rio de Janeiro, Ciara focuses on covering human rights, culture, and politics.

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