Brazilian women advance conditions for rural workers (Margaridas' march), 2000


The campaign was a "strategic action to gain visibility, social and political recognition, and full citizenship for rural women," and a time to "pressure the government for women’s rights, wage equality, land distribution for family agriculture, that is, policies that favor women and rural workers in general."

Time period notes

While many traveled for days to Brasilia, and began campaigning upon arrival, the march itself only lasted for two days.

Time period

16 August, 2000 to 18 August, 2000



Location City/State/Province


Location Description

The women who participated in the campaign came from across the country to march in the capital.
Jump to case narrative


Maria Luiza de Santos- Daisy and rural worker from Afonso de Cunha
Workers' unions such as the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers
The Central Unit of Workers
World Women’s March
Fishers of Arari Waterfalls


ActionAid, Kelly Cristina Concalves- member of the Articulation of Brazilian Women

External allies

Not known

Involvement of social elites

Congresswoman Rejane Pitanga


The target was the new (female) Brazilian President whose socialist background and left background led the Margaridas to expect a positive response

Nonviolent responses of opponent

None known

Campaigner violence

None known

Repressive Violence

None known


Economic Justice
Human Rights



Group characterization

Rural and forest women workers

Groups in 1st Segment

The Daisies
Rural Workers' Unions

Additional notes on joining/exiting order

At the end of the campaign, President Dilma Drouseff immediately agreed to aid the Daisies by answering their list of demands.

Segment Length

8 hours

Success in achieving specific demands/goals

5 out of 6 points


1 out of 1 points


3 out of 3 points

Total points

9 out of 10 points

Database Narrative

In Brazil in
2000, the Margaridas, or Daisies, formed in honor of Margarida Maria Alves, a
union leader renowned for surmounting the embedded cultural stereotypes and
obstacles for women, especially those working in rural areas. Alves
became the president of the Rural Worker’s Union in her town, but was
reportedly assassinated in 1983, at the age of 50, because of her advocacy for
those working in rural or forested areas. 
After her death, she became a feminist icon in the fight for equality
and social justice in rural work. Soon after being established, the Daisies began to organize
marches.  Their fourth was planned
for August 2011.

Maria Luiza dos
Santos, a rural worker from Afonso de Cunha, stated in one interview that the purpose of the campaign was to “pressure the government for women’s rights, wage
equality, land distribution for family agriculture, that is, policies that
favor women and rural workers in general.”

The Daisies
wanted “sustainable development with justice, autonomy, equality, and freedom.”
They felt that gender inequality was a crucial piece in the structure of
poverty in Brazil. If they could diminish gender inequality it would
effectively work to diminish poverty as a whole; therefore they focused
especially on the needs of female rural and forest laborers.

Women began
traveling to Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, days before 16 August, the starting
date for the march. Some had a four-day trip from their homes in every corner
of the nation to the capital.

They first built
a “City of the Daisies” in the capital. Here they began to discuss what they
wanted included in the 150 demands that would be sent to the President. Brazil
had inaugurated its new President, Dilma Drouseff, on 1 January 2011. Having a
socialist background, she was known for saying, “A wealthy country is a country
with no poverty.”

Forums were held
on specific issues and votes were cast by all who attended these forums so that
the leaders could decide what was most important to include in the list.
Representatives from numerous unions and organizations were present, such as
the National Confederation of Agricultural workers, the Central Unit of
Workers, the World Women’s March, ActionAid, and Fishers of Arari Waterfalls.
Everyone in the “City of Daisies” sold and traded handcrafts with others in
order to build relationships and promote discussions. As a result, the movement
gained followers and displayed to the public its unity and their strength.

On 16 August 2011, the Daisies
began marching. They wore purple shirts and straw hats to represent their work
and their unity. Some dressed as daisies. All carried signs, banners, and
flags, proclaiming their demands, feelings, and beliefs. As they marched
through the city of Brasilia they sang, “We are of all different kinds, of
different kinds of hair, big, small and elevated. We are all daisies!” They
continued singing throughout the march. Eventually they made their way to the
Capitol building, where three leaders of the movement, all women, spoke to the
crowd. The marching, singing, displaying of banners, and campaigning continued
the next day.

On 18 August
2011, President Dilma Drouseff addressed the list of 150 demands by agreeing to
establish 16 floating facilities in forest-rivers to allow for basic health
care to those working in these areas and 10 centers to enforce regulated health
and safety standards in the workplace by 2012. She also pledged to finance more
family-owned farms and to create and introduce a national program on
sustainable agriculture that would help women in rural communities.

The march
encouraged women to engage in political activity and aided in alleviating their
struggles in the agrarian labor force. Congresswoman Rejane Pitanga believed
that the march ”projects women as protagonists of federal politics, something
that would be unimaginable a few decades ago.” More women, especially those in
rural communities were also encouraged to seek a stronger position politically
so that they could be sure that those demands on the list were met and others
could be introduced and enacted.


"ActionAid Brazil Local Partners at the Daisies' March." Activista/ActionAid. ActionAid, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. <>.

Moorhead, Rosy. "Brazilian Women March for Rights of Rural Workers." Women's Views on News, 8 Sept. 2011. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. <>.

Moraes, Thais. "Brazilian Women Press Rights of Rural and Forest Labor." Toward Freedom. Toward Freedom, 5 Sept. 2011. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. <>.

"The Daisies' March Demands for Women's Rights, Wage Equality and Land Distribution in Brazil." Global Room for Women. Global Room, 29 Aug. 2011. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. <>.

Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy

Jessica Seigel, 16/03/2013