This body is my body

Flores de Dan / Sueide Kintê


Born and raised in the outskirts of Salvador, the daughter of a teacher and a trade unionist, journalist and therapist Sueide Kintê learned early the true meaning of a collective life. From mutirões [specific community task forces in poor areas] to asphalt the street, “pave slabs”, to the struggle for transportation and access to public services, there has always been a commitment to the community. “Being an activist is an imperative for those born poor”, she explains. She rejects, however, any attempt to make her path a unique and reductionist story. “I don't like to think that it was scarcity that moved me. I didn't react to the bad things. I was confident that there was an alternative way, believing that we can do something about it”, she observes.

It was this belief that motivated her to raise issues such as women's protagonism and health within the social movement. She realized that, even in places where the subject was about change, women were still relegated to the background, “to the kitchen”. Sueide already saw the urgent need to talk about subjects that no one wanted to discuss.

“We need to have the courage to admit that sexual and reproductive health is taboo. In fact, people are not in possession of their reproductive rights,” she says. The project submitted in response to the Ela Decide Call for Projects through the collective of which she is a member, Flores de Dan, sought just that. Let the women speak. And listen to them. Finally.

“What we saw is that both young women, as well as mature and elderly women, have difficulty accessing health care. We are talking about people who have had their uterus removed because they had no information about proper care. People who suffer abuse, rape, and blame themselves for it. Everything is so naturalized, the abuses are diverse and occur everyday, and these women simply have no one to talk to”, she says.

We need to have the courage to admit that sexual and reproductive health is taboo. In fact, people are not in possession of their reproductive rights.”

Sueide and the Flores de Dan collective have a recognized role within the poorer communities of Salvador in the protection of women's rights. “We used to hold self-care rounds when people didn't even talk about it,” she says. With the award obtained under the Ela Decide Call for Projects, launched by the United Nations Population Fund in partnership with the Elas Fund, the group received unprecedented support. “This tender notice was incredibly bold and necessary. For the first time, we came close to a UN agency”, she celebrates.

The certainty that work within the community has taken root and will prosper makes Sueide continue, at the age of 36, on her journey advocating for human rights, communication and women's health. “The project made the information reach an audience that never receives anything”, she says proudly. “It was a game changer.”

Project: This body is my body


People directly benefited by the project:30 women

Flores de Dan has brought together digital influencers and content creators from Bahia to develop innovative and creative audiovisual materials on the topic: Health - Sexual and Reproductive Rights. The materials were disseminated on the influencers' own social networks, which add up to more than one million followers. In addition, the material was also sent to partners, including Kirimure TV and Bus TV.

Photography: Mila Souza / Writer: Fabiane Guimarães e Rachel Quintiliano / Editor-in-chief: Rachel Quintiliano / Content review and approach: Anna Cunha, Juliana Soares and Michele Dantas / Artwork and Composition: Diego Soares

This story is part of the publication “Driving Force: stories and actions undertaken by women and for women in Bahia”, that shows the result of a partnership between the United Nations Population Fund and the Elas Fund to support projects led by women residing in the Brazilian State of Bahia, who work to promote actions involving training and information on sexual, reproductive health and rights. To learn more about the project and other stories, visit brazil.unfpa.org/forcamotriz