Schuma Schumaher (born 1952) found feminism in the late 1970s, and it was like she had found the answers to the questions she had since her childhood. She lived in a small rural city in the state of São Paulo named Santa Fé do Sul, dedicated to the cultivation of coffee and cotton. Even though she worked in plantations since she was six years old, her biggest dream was to study.
With education and culture Schuma Schumaher, who already had a degree in pedagogy, was able to comprehend the ways of feminist militancy, which started in São Paulo City in the 1970s. During this period, she was part of the foundation of the Brazilian Women's Center and also of the first SOS Woman in Brazil, which helped women victims of violence. This group's effort was the first step in the creation of Police Precincts Specialized in Aiding Women Victims of Violence. After that, she moved on to work in the National Council of Woman's Rights, created by Brazil's first civil president after 20 years of military dictatorship. Schuma moved to Brasilia, the national capital, and her involvement with politics became more intense. In 1987, she was working actively in what was known as the Lipstick Lobby – a women's movement that fought for the inclusion of female rights in the new Brazilian Constitution. Schuma Schumahers passion for movies and her work in the cultural scenario led her to Rio de Janeiro, where she moved to in 1988. In 1991, she started working at the Rede de Desenvolvimento Humano (Network for Human Development), a non-governmental organization she coordinated. She developed the project named ‘Woman – 500 years behind the curtains’ – an extensive research on women's contribution to Brazilian history. With this project, a dictionary with the names of 500 women was produced. She believes that peace depends on the capacity of each person to live in society in a less violent manner. Ergo, feminism is a way of affirming women's rights, anti-racist and anti-homophobic. Internationally, Schuma Schumaher attended two important UN conferences in the 1990s: ECO-92 (Rio de Janeiro), where she was directing the participation of REDEH in the Female Planet, and the Women's World Conference (1995, Beijing).
Rede de Desenvolvimento Humano (REDEH)