A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


First Woman President Sworn Into Office in Brazil

From torture in a dictatorship-era jail cell to the helm of Latin America's largest nation, Dilma Roussett was sworn into office and became Brazil's first woman president.  She took her oat of office alongside Vice-President Michel Temer...becoming the country's 36th president, a nearly unthinkable feat a year ago.  In a country where women have typically played a limited  role in politics, the election of a woman to Brazil's highest office signals a major break from the past.

Following her historic win, Rousseff spoke passionately about her goals to eliminate poverty, improve education and public healthcare,  reduce homelessness, and promote gender equality, "I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say yes, women can."  "Equal opportunity between men and women is an essential principle of democracy."

Rousseff of the Worker's Party defeated Jose Serra of the Social Democratic Party by a wide margin. Although she has never held elective office before, Rousseff, an economist, was strongly backed by former president, da Silva. She formerly served as da Silva's Chief of Staff and a member of his cabinet as Energy Minister.

In 1967, Rousseff, then a 19 year old economics student, joint a militant group opposing the dictatorship of the country, and for the next three years, she helped lead guerrilla organizations while writing for an underground newspaper.  During the 1970s, Rousseff was captured and jailed by Brazil's military police and was labeled the  "Joan of Arc" of the gorilla movement.  She was tossed into the notorious Tiradentes prison and brutually tortured for her membership in the left-wing guerrilla group. 

I congratulate Ms. Rousseff on her ascendancy to the Brazilian presidency­. She has the task and the responsibi­lity to build on the great legacy of her predecesso­r, and having worked closely with him, I am sure she will continue to lead her country towards even greater prosperity for all Brazilians­.


  1. Need to catch up on this blog again, love your stories Mary. I hope this brave woman has a long and productive life doing what she has worked so hard and sacrificed so much to accomplish. Thanks for her story...

  2. This is indeed encouraging news for us women!


  3. That is wonderful news, especially in a country where brutality against women has been such an issue (sometimes that feels like half of the world :( ) She sounds amazing, great job Dilma!