Social engagement and autonomy of women in Bahia, Brazil.
Lucia is a 42 year old woman. Living in a small rural community in the semiarid region of Bahia.
Most of her time she was destined to household chores, caring for children and to help her husband in rural activities. The social relations of Lucia, were always restricted. Her husband did not like her to leave home. Shy, Lucia was always with her hair binded, smiled very little. No one ever asked Lucia if she liked the life she led. She never wondered if she was really satisfied with her life.
Recently, Lucia had the opportunity to be part of a group of women in her community who decided to join to produce and sell bread, biscuits and coconut sweets. It was a way of them to socialize, talk about their lives, their anxieties, joys and also get some extra income to help with household expenses and even to buy some things she wanted.
Being in a group, feeling productive and get to experience autonomy, did Lucia begin to smile and to loosen her hair. Leaving her house to join the group, quite bothered her husband who did not understand why Lucia got even more busy. For him, it made no sense. But his wife started changing because of feeling part of a group, feeling productive It was from this that he went on to encourage the participation of Lucia in the group. Now she is not only a housewife, mother, wife and a rural co-worker. Lucia is an entrepreneur, which helps produce cookies, bread and coconut sweets.
It is someone who helps in community development. She is happier and taking initiatives for her own future!