What’s Current: Brazilian activist Marielle Franco assassinated in Rio

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

Image: Flickr/Jeso Carneiro
  • Rio city councillor and activist Marielle Franco has been assassinated in Brazil. Hundreds gathered outside her funeral and protests erupted across the country.

“The spontaneous demonstration brought together union members, feminists, leftists, and residents of the city’s poorer communities…

… Franco was a gay black woman who defied the odds of Rio politics to win the fifth-highest vote count among council members when she was elected in 2016. She was an expert on police violence and had recently accused officers of being overly aggressive in searching residents of gang-controlled shantytowns. A member of a leftist party, Franco was also known for her social work in slums.”

  • A man has been charged with murder after a woman and two of her children were killed in their home in Ajax, Ontario. Krassimira “Krissy” Pejcinovski and her 15-year-old son Roy were found dead yesterday. 13-year-old Venallia was found alive but died of her injuries last night. The police have not released the man’s name but said he “is believed to have been romantically involved with the adult female victim.”
  • DriveHer, a ride-sharing service exclusively run by and for women, is set to launch this Friday in Toronto. So far, 100 women have signed up as drivers.
  • A BC study found that Indigenous women are 92 per cent more likely to get cervical cancer than non-Indigenous women. Dr. Sheona Mitchell-Foster says Indigenous women are less likely to get regular pap tests because of the colonial practice of forced sterilization. She also says there is a lack of health services in the Northern parts of the province, including a lack of female doctors, and is piloting a program where women can do the tests themselves at home.
Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • unfashionable

    So, does DriveHer employ trans drivers as well as cater to trans passengers? Does this help women travel safe?

    • Zoë Lafantaisie

      I sure hope not – I was tempted to put a note on their website warning them – they’ll have to face the question soon enough. I can just see the TiMs rushing in to get the jobs.

    • meri dian

      from their website: “Do we cater to transgender women and gender non conforming folks? Yes, we do cater our services to transgender women. DriveHER is working towards on making this service accessible to people who do not conform to a particular gender.”

      • Wren

        “…accessible to people who do not conform to a particular gender.”
        Ugh, the inanity of it!! Why make a service designed to help WOMEN but then say it’s not for any particular gender??!! So they can’t even say that it’s for people who identify as women (which means probably some men, as usual) but they now have to say, “HEY we’re here for women–or not women–or whatever!!!”

        They’ve created this ocean of bullshit, but they can’t swim.

  • shy virago

    Thanks you for the beautiful photo of Marielle. I lived in Rio for most of the 1990’s, when Benedita da Silva ran for mayor and Jurema Batista became the 2nd afro-brazilian city councilwoman. The wonderful portalvermelho.org a progressive online newswire, dedicated the entire front page to her yesterday.
    Rio was always violent but has become extraordinarily so since the globalization of Brazil. That, along with the new right wing government (stolen by ‘impeachment’) makes it even scarier. From what I gather, Marielle challenged the police and was always vocal about their murder of people of color. She introduced 16 bills (in just 15 months in office), two of which became laws. She has a 19 year old daughter who is now without a mother.

  • Maria Gatti

    https://mariellevive.wordpress.com/ Introductory text also in Spanish, French and English.

  • Maria Gatti

    Actually, the best solution is expansion of public transport in terms of frequency, operating hours and number of lines and ensuring safety provisions for women (and girl) passengers, women drivers and other women public transport workers. Not everyone can afford taxis. It is very rare that I’ll take one; of course Montréal is a relatively safe city and I no longer work late outside my home (I work mostly at home now). I agree with what you say about taxis, but they must work in tandem with collective public transport.

    The current (progressive) city administration, under Mayor Valérie Plante (our first woman mayor!) is trying to secure free-of-charge public transport for minors, seniors and low-income people. I’d be thrilled to see public transport become free for all at point of usage, which would increase its ridership greatly, thereby eliminating many potentially dangerous long waits at bus stops. Several cities in different countries have adopted this.

    Here in Montréal, quite a bit of the adapted transport for disabled people is provided by licenced taxis.

    There is quite a bit of documentation now on feminist or women-centric urban planning, including transport and safety for women walking between their home and destination or their transport access point.

  • shy virago

    Thank you, Maria! I keep reading about her everyday, thanks to portalvermelho and other Brazilian sites.