How do We Pave a Right? – Thinking Right to Mobility from Women’s Displacements in Rio De Janeiro

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Cecília wakes up at five every morning. Some minutes later, she wakes her daughter, Rosa, up so they can catch the six-five train. Then, they ride a bus to Rosa's school. Cecília follows her way towards another neighborhood where she works and studies. After school, Rosa attends her mom’s college classes and they both go home at night at a quarter to nine. If they manage to catch the last direct train, they get home at half past ten. However, if they ride the multiple-stop train, they only get home after eleven pm. Conceição wakes up at half past five, gets dressed, and then wakes her children up. After her teenage children leave, she tends to her house, feeds the cats, and at eight in the morning she is at the bus stop to catch the first bus on her journey. Conceição rides two buses to and fro work every day. She gets back home around nine pm. By then, her children are bound to go to bed. Cecília and Conceição live in cities belonging to the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Area, which is the second largest metropolitan region in terms of population density in Brazil. They both spend three to four hours a day commuting. These hours make up their routine, and options for work, study, management of family life. Cecília and Conceição are two of the participants of an ethnographic research conducted between March and August 2018. The research is targeted at reflecting upon what the right to mobility would be based on women’s mobility. Considering mobility in large cities as an unavoidable component of the relationship with the city, the right to mobility becomes a fundamental right to fully exercise the right to the city. But neither city nor mobility are neutral elements. To the contrary, they are organized (or limited) by markers of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, among other markers. To question the spatial project itself, which, under the aegis of an alleged neutrality, reiterates the excluding urban planning. Therefore, highlighting these markers is essential.
mobility, rio de janeiro, intersectional feminism