Saturday, August 29, 2009

12 Brazilian Self-Empowered Woman

Dear Followers,

Do you know what Gymboree founder Joan Barnes, Nobel Prize-Winning author Doris Lessing, entertainer Dolly Parton, and actress Meg Ryan, have in common?

You'll get the answer in the next post, but in the meantime I want to share with you the story of an amazing Brazilian woman named Marina Silva. Silva was her country's environmental minister after Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (no relation) was elected in 2002. But she resigned her position with da Silva's Worker's Party and joined the Green Party, where rumor has it that she may be a condidate in next year's Presidential election. If she runs and wins, she will be the country's first female president and the country's first black president.

These days the idea of a woman who is running for a poilitical position is no longer earth shattering, but Silva's story is an amazing tale of a Self-Empowered Woman at her best. Hard as it is to imagine, Marina was one of eleven children born to parents living in Seringal Bagaco, a community of rubber tree tappers. Her mother died when she was eleven and two younger sisters later died from measles and maleria. As a child, Marina walked nine miles each day to help her father collect rubber from trees. Seriously ill from hepatitis and illiterate, she left home at sixteen and took a bus to Rio Branco where she hoped to receive both an education and medical attention. She worked as a maid, enrolled in a course for illiterate adults, and finished primary school. During school vacations she returned home to help her father collect rubber, and ultimately graduated from university at age 26 with a degree in history.

The governor of her home state of Acre, when asked about the fact that she had switched political parties answered "Marina is a person that earned her own wings, and it is not surprising to discover that those who have wings can fly."

Good news- THE BOOK is scheduled to go on sale from on Sept. 15th. Looking forward to your comments...

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