The Federative Republic of Brazil, once a Portuguese colony, is an economic power with a diverse population and steadily declining birthrate. Mothers working in the formal sector are eligible for paid maternity leave. Traditional gender roles are shifting; formal unions are becoming less common, and divorce is legal. Most Brazilian women use some form of birth control, and most receive prenatal care and are attended at birth by skilled personnel. Brazilian law guarantees the right to family planning and free access to education through secondary school and the Brazilian Constitution supports the rights of working women. The overall birthrate in Brazil, which was 6.2 in 1960 and 4.7 in 1975, has decreased rapidly since the 1980s, to the 2008 rate of 2.2 children per mother. ...

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