According to figures released by the Municipality of Curitiba, in a request for information from councilor Carol Dartora (PT), in the current staff there are only 21 people who declare themselves indigenous (0.09%) and 932 (3%) black. Against 19,951 (78%) who say they are white, in a total of 25,265 servers.
Another important factor is income. The average salary of civil servants declared white (6,283) is more than a thousand reais higher than that of blacks (5,012), with greater inequality compared to those declared yellow (9,486), and this group represents just over 1% of the total employees in Curitiba.
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These are some of the reasons that led the councilor to present, at the City Council, a proposal for an affirmative policy to ensure equity in access to and well-paid job opportunities for blacks and indigenous peoples.
Under the project, 20% of the vacancies made available in municipal public tenders would be reserved for the racial quotas system. A study by the IBGE on social inequalities by color or race in Brazil, carried out in 2018, found that 34% of the population of Paraná is black and, in Curitiba, around 21%. Despite the significant portion, inequality of opportunities and unemployment have strongly affected this portion of the population, especially in the pandemic. Also according to the study, the salary difference between whites and blacks is almost a thousand reais. If the Dartora Law project is approved, more than 4,000 vacancies would be created for blacks and indigenous people, considering the current number of employees.
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In 2014, a federal law similar to the councilor’s proposal was sanctioned by President Dilma Roussef (PT). In the Chamber of Curitiba, despite a favorable opinion from the Commission for the Constitution of Justice (CCJ), the project runs the risk of being set back in its original wording. A proposal by councilor Amália Tortato (Novo) changes to social quotas, reserving places by socioeconomic rather than racial index.
“We agree that there is racism in Brazil, but we understand that the confrontation is wrong,” stated Tortato during a debate with Dartora, on the Plural portal. Amália believes that the social criterion would already benefit blacks and indigenous people. “In our assessment, the social quota criterion reaches people who did not have good education and income opportunities back then, including black people, and would benefit people who also did not have opportunities regardless of skin color”, he highlighted.
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The PL is currently being processed in the Education Committee of the house, and will still receive the opinion of the committee’s parliamentarians. In an interview with Brazil de Facto Paraná, Dartora highlights the importance of the racial aspect of the proposal, since, according to her, the changes do not attack racial inequalities in the city. “What is the logic behind the fact that, in a country where 54% of the population declares themselves black, the positions of power are almost entirely occupied by white people? What ideological mechanisms are at play to ensure whites occupy higher positions in the social hierarchy without this being seen as racial privilege?”, he asks.
Dartora’s proposal is defended by black movements in the city and by the Public Ministry and Public Defender of the Union and the state. In a technical report released in April, the agencies emphasize that the practice “has shown the success of the quota policy, capable of quadrupling the enrollment of blacks in higher education in recent years, in addition to significantly expanding – although still insufficient – the black civil servants framework”.
Source: BoF Paraná
Edition: Frédi Vasconcelos