Rural women seek rights and visibility in Brazil march

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Brazil Women's March

Women participate in the Margaridas march, in front of the Brazilian National Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. The Margaridas, or Daisies, formed to honor Margarida Maria Alves, a murdered local leader of the Rural Worker’s Union, renowned for surmounting the embedded cultural stereotypes and obstacles for women, especially those working in rural areas. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Thousands of rural working women from Brazil and other countries protested Wednesday in the Brazilian capital to demand better conditions in the field, also voicing their disapproval of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Women workers and labor leaders gathered in Brasilia, carrying slogans and chanting for several issues at the heart of their agenda, from agrarian reform to better representation in society and politics and women rights.

"We want the government to have mercy and do the original land reform, for working people, who want a piece of land to work with, raise their children and grandchildren," said Maria da Graca Correira, who traveled from the northern Brazilian state of Para to attend the Margaridas march.

Maria Lucineide Barbosa, also from the state of Para, argued that women in the field should get more for their hard, at times perilous work. "We are working from sun to sun, rain to rain, just to be able to bring food on the table," she said.

The event started in 2000 and is held every few years and takes its name, Margaridas, from a rural workers union leader who was slain in the mid-1980s for her activism defending the rights of laborers in rural Brazil.

Some leaders present Wednesday came from Central America, Africa and Europe, organizers said.

Many of the protesters criticized Bolsonaro, who over the years has been strongly criticized for sexist and racist comments.