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Medeiros da Fonseca, Romy Martins (1921–)

Medeiros da Fonseca, Romy Martins (1921–)

Romy Martins Medeiros da Fonseca (b. 30 June 1921), Brazilian women's rights activist. Daughter of José Gomes Leite da Fonseca and Climéria da Fonseca Martins, Medeiros da Fonseca was born in Rio de Janeiro. She married the jurist and law professor Arnoldo Medeiros da Fonseca, with whom she had two children. A graduate of the law school at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Romy Medeiros served as counselor to the State Council on the Rights of Women and has been a leader of the Brazilian Lawyers' Organization (OAB). In addition, she has served as president of the National Council of Brazilian Women (CNMB), an organization founded by Jeronyma Mesquita, a pioneer for women's suffrage.

Medeiros was a coauthor of the Married Woman's Statute, a law that defined social and family rights and supplanted civil code stipulations, which considered married women as "relatively incompetent." In 1972, she organized the First Congress of Women, in which national and international participants debated women's roles in political development. She has served as Brazil's delegate to the Inter-American Commission for Women at the Organization of American States and has been a formal and informal presidential adviser on women's issues since 1947. As a stalwart defender of women's rights, Romy Medeiros has long promoted women's integration into the country's military services and was instrumental in the passage of Brazil's divorce statute. She also published articles and books on women's issues, including Justiça social e aborto (1982) and A Condiçao femenina (1988.)

See alsoBrazil, Liberal Movements; Feminism and Feminist Organizations.


Additional Bibliography

Duquette, Michel. Collective Action and Radicalism in Brazil: Women, Urban Housing, and Rural Movements. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Hahner, Judith Edith. Emancipating the Female Sex: The Struggle for Women's Rights in Brazil, 1850–1940. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990.

Muraro, Rose Marie. Memórias das mulheres do exílio: Obra colectiva. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Paz e Terra, 1980.

                                     IÊda Siqueira Wiarda

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