The aspirations of Brazilian women are underscored by a report issued this month by the Center for Work-Life Policy, a think tank in New York. The report, “The Battle for Female Talent in Brazil,” says that 59 percent of Brazilian women consider themselves “very ambitious” and that 80 percent of college-educated women aspire to upper-echelon positions. U.S. women were far less likely to give those responses.
The telenovela effect
The lives of Brazil’s career women are often reflected in the country’s elaborate soaps, or telenovelas, which numerous U.S. and Brazilian researchers say have been an important factor in the drop in Brazilian fertility. The protagonists may be perpetually anguished about lost love, but they inhabit an appealing, affluent, highflying world, whose distinguishing features include the small family.
“They are all young. They live well. They are comfortable. They are beautiful,” said Maria Immacolata Vassallo de Lopes, coordinator of the Center for the Study of the Telenovela in Sao Paulo. “Why do they need children?”