The Report of the Oblate Network of Brazil gathers quantitative and qualitative data on the actions carried out in the four units that make up the Oblate Network in the country. The document was based on two main themes around prostitution: food insecurity and mental health.
The objective of the document is to provoke reflection, while at the same time presenting a balance sheet on the reality of the women in prostitution who are served by the institution in Juazeiro, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and São Paulo. The main reflections are given in two areas: food insecurity and mental health, both aggravated by the pandemic.
First, the Network developed actions and articulations to reduce hunger and the basic needs of women, signing alliances with institutions that are sensitive to the mission and that have a humanised view of vulnerable women in the context of prostitution. The story of one of the women assisted by the Juazeiro centre shows the serious level of food insecurity. “There are days when the second course is sausage, there are days when it is nothing, I don’t even buy eggs because they are too expensive”, lamented E.T.A.S. – cared for by the Pastoral de la Mujer. In 2021, the Oblate Network, through direct donations or through partnerships, donated 725 basic food baskets. In addition, it enabled 191 women to have access to basic food baskets through vouchers from the municipalities.
Along with the difficulty of securing food on the table, the women served became more prone to an invisible and growing suffering: the compromise of mental health. The Oblate Network points out that, among the women in the context of prostitution assisted by the institution, who are in extreme social vulnerability, we can point out some factors that trigger mental illness, such as the very vulnerability in which they live, the unhealthiness of the workplaces, the risk of violence, the prejudice against prostitution, the difficulty of access to fundamental rights, among other reasons.
From February to November, the Network developed 14 actions between live broadcasts, podcasts, courses (5 modules) and online seminars, always discussing guidelines about the guarantee of human rights, the contexts of sexual exploitation, and mental health, among others.
About the Oblate Network
With prophetic involvement, real solidarity and affirmation of the God of Life, they work to make the path of women in contexts of prostitution or victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation more just and less vulnerable, acting directly in harm reduction, raising awareness in society and defending their human rights. This is the mission in 15 countries in the world, where the Congregation of the Oblate Sisters of the Most Holy Redeemer connects important partnerships for the development of actions. In Brazil, the work is articulated in: Salvador (Fuerza Femenina), Juazeiro/BA (Pastoral de la Mujer), Belo Horizonte (Dialogues for Freedom) and São Paulo/SP (Antonia Project).
For more information, please visit hermanasoblatas.org.