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The present article seeks to examine the meaning that community work acquires in the context of changes in social policy and in modes of governance that have taken place in Brazil since 2000. Attributing to communities (i.e. to women) an active role in responsibility for local development and social welfare, we examine the Women for Peace (Mulheres da Paz) program in Rio de Janeiro. This program was implemented in the city's favelas as a means of confronting the forms of urban violence thatdoi:10.1590/18094449201600460107 fatcat:xtzqknkfzvacjmehh4cppdx2ry