Brazil Class Structure and Distribution of Income
It has rightly Brazil internationally as one of the countries with the ungerechtesten possession – known and income distribution. This can be clearly seen in the distribution of income. The 10% of the population who earn the best earn practically half of the national income, while the poorer half of the population has to share around 10% of the national income. In other words, in 2007 the total income of 1% of the affluent population was 50% of the income of the needy population.
The absolute figures for income groups are also sobering. Almost two thirds of Brazilian wage earners earn around twice the minimum wage, so they have to get by on the equivalent of around 460 euros a month. Almost a quarter earns only half. Here, too, the numbers fluctuate considerably between the individual regions. This social divide was found in the urban centers since the beginning of industrialization in the emergence of so-called favelas. These originally illegal poor settlements, most recently threatened with demolition and relocation under the military dictatorship, continue to lead a pariah existence on the fringes of society today. For years, various programs have endeavored to bring the favelas back to official life in the city. According to the Federal Statistical Office IBGE, 12.4 million Brazilians live in precarious living conditions in 16,433 favelas.
Migration from the poorer northeast to the southeast was a constant in the 20th century. The migrant workers lived on the outskirts of the big cities and, during the period of industrial development, formed the huge reservoir of labor with which the rapid economic development was fought for over half a century. As unskilled workers, they are mainly found in construction and other heavy physical activities. With their special culture and customs, they are downright guest workers in their own country. The families often only move to the south after a while.
In the 20th century, despite numerous government programs, the regional development gap between the poor northeast and the affluent south and southeast could not be eliminated. The life expectancy is there with in some areas less than 40 years. Around a third of Brazil’s population now lives in the northeast. Politically, however, the region is still characterized by the rule of individual family clans.
This picture of social inequality is repeated when looking at land distribution in Brazil, a country located in South America according to cellphoneexplorer. The micro and small businesses up to 20 ha, which make up around two thirds of all businesses, manage only less than 6% of the agricultural area. Large farms with more than 500 ha, on the other hand, own almost two thirds of the arable land. In rural areas in particular, the disputes over the distribution of property are a great social explosive. After the most important attempts at agrarian reform failed, the army of landless day laborers and former smallholders joined together in numerous grassroots organizations and occupied large fallow farms on their own.
The landless movement(Founded in 1984) receives support from various sources. Among others from the Brazilian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The most important landless organization, Movimento dos Sem-Terra (MST), has repeatedly forced the government to act through spectacular land occupations. This referred to the results of the land distribution within the framework of state expropriation and settlement programs. On the other hand, some of the landowners hire their own protection troops. In recent years, numerous activists from landless organizations have died in these clashes – especially in Pará state. The situation in terms of land distribution is very tense. Under Lula’s government, the landless movement temporarily suspended its occupation policy, but that was over quickly. At the end of his first term after four years, 350,000 families were settled, less than the 115,000 families annually that the president himself promised.
Women, although formally equal, still have a difficult time in Brazilian society. Especially in the poorer layers, they are often responsible for the maintenance of the whole family. Women from the lower class are often employed as domestic servants for the middle and upper classes. The inequality refers both to the domestic sphere and at the workplace. Until 2006, domestic violence was not recognized as a crime in Brazil and was therefore not a criminal offense. That year the parliament passed the law “Maria da Penha”designed to protect women from domestic violence. In addition, the Lula government established the “Secretáriade Estado Especial de Política para as Mulheres” (State Secretariat for Women’s Policy) to improve the situation of women . In order to control violence against women, more and more police stations are being set up to deal with women’s issues.
Fringe group of street children
In some cases, children are also a socially disadvantaged group. The street children in Brazil, whose situation repeatedly attracts international attention, are hardly organized. Another sad facet of poverty can be seen in child labor in Brazil. This exploitation of cheap labor usually prevents regular school attendance and thus obstructs life chances.