July 25th is the International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women's Day and Brazil’s National Day of Tereza de Benguela, leader of the Quariterê Quilombo. Vale celebrates the date because it represents the struggle of women and indigenous peoples and the fight for diversity. It is also celebrated by traditional communities, especially Quilombo communities.
In Brazil, Vale currently interacts with 13 indigenous peoples and 39 traditional communities, including the Quilombo community. The goal is to create value for indigenous peoples and traditional communities and respect their culture, way of living and their environment while seeking to leave a positive legacy for these populations through initiatives that contribute to their development. To support these activities, Vale has guidelines for initiatives involving indigenous peoples and traditional communities that are described in its Sustainable Development Policy, in the Human Rights Policy and Guide, and in the Code of Conduct. These guidelines comply with international commitments and references – they are based on ICMM’s (International Council on Mining and Metals) positioning on Mining and Indigenous Peoples, on the ILO Convention 169, and on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The 2019 National Household Sample Survey (PNAD, Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domícilios) shows that, although women represent 51.8% of the Brazilian population, this percentage is not reflected in industry statistics, including in mining. In view of this scenario, Vale undertook the commitment to double its female workforce by 2030.
However, this is not the only inequality faced by women in our society – in Brazil, white women are paid 70% more than black women, according to a survey by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada). Vale expressly condemns any form of employee discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or any other basis. The company operates in several countries and regions, each with its own ethnicity, language, culture and tradition. For Vale, ethnic-racial plurality and multiculturalism give us the opportunity to learn from diversity.
Click Here to Learn More About our Policies and Commitments
About Tereza de Benguela
Tereza de Benguela was a Quilombola leader who lived during the 18th century. Following the death of her partner, Tereza became the queen of the quilombo, military strategist and political leader of the Quariterê Quilombo, located in an area around Vale Guaporé, in the state of Mato Grosso. The Quariterê Quilombo existed from 1730 to 1795 and she led the community up to 1770. Historians say that the quilombo was populated by black and indigenous people.
Under her leadership, the black and indigenous community resisted slavery for two decades, surviving up to 1770, when the quilombo was destroyed by the military forces of Luiz Pinto de Souza Coutinho. The entire population (79 black people and 30 indigenous people) was killed or arrested.