"What took 120 years in England took 40 years here," [Brazilian demographer José Alberto] Carvalho told me one day. "Something happened." At that moment he was talking about what happened in São Vicente de Minas, the town of his childhood, where nobody under 45 has a soccer-team-size roster of siblings anymore. But he might as well have been describing the entire female population of Brazil. For although there are many reasons Brazil's fertility rate has dropped so far and so fast, central to them all are tough, resilient women who set out a few decades back, without encouragement from the government and over the pronouncements of their bishops, to start shutting down the factories any way they could.
National Geographic lays out six reasons for the relatively sudden empowerment of Brazilian women, some that are also affecting other nations. One of those reasons is television. Link
(Image credit: John Stanmeyer)