A survey by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that women are the majority in the Brazilian population. However, this proportion is not reflected in national policy.
According to data from the 2019 Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNAD Contínua), the Brazilian population is composed of 48.2% men and 51.8% women. Last Sunday (2), however, 91 women were elected to federal deputies. This number represents 17.7% of the total of 513 parliamentarians.
In this election, 302 women were elected, against 1,394 men for the Chamber of Deputies, Senate, Legislative Assemblies and state governments.
According to the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), 9,794 women applied for available positions, including alternate positions, and 302 were elected – equivalent to almost 3.1%. Among men, 19,072 were candidates and 1,346 were elected – just over 7%.
The TSE survey also shows that, in all, 39 black, five indigenous, 71 brown and 184 white women were elected, according to the self-declaration of each one.
For experts, these data reflect inequality between men and women in Brazil. Even so, according to political scientist Denilde Holzhacker, this year female representation in the Chamber increased, from 77 to 91 (up 18.2%).
In the Senate, there was a drop from 11 to ten elected senators. However, when analyzing the number of women candidates, 34% were women, a number that is above the party quota (30%).
“There is progress, but it is very slow. We also noticed a diversity in the profiles. We see a strong presence of right-wing candidates and the election of women from the LGBT community. This brings a very different logic of debates and agenda. Now it is important not to look only at the numbers, but at the representativeness in terms of actions”, ponders the specialist.
Regarding the difference between the number of candidates and the number of elected women, Denilde explains that the parties opened more employment spaces, but invested less resources.
Difficulties in party support were expressed in many of the parties. Some invested more, but the complaints were the same. Parties are still very masculine spaces and women face barriers to making competitive campaigns that can, in fact, turn these actions into votes. So, this will still be one of the central points for us to be able to increase representation.
Denilde Holzhacker, political scientist
Considering that the presidential race had four female candidates, Denilde highlights that women are “gradually” expanding political spaces.
“This female presence is not yet mirrored in the states. We had some without any women elected to congress, others had great advances, especially in some capitals, but, even so, the political scene continues to be dominated by men. That is why we will still need some measures such as quotas, but also expand the discussion on how to increase the role of elected women”, reiterated Denilde.
For the political scientist, it will be necessary to monitor this participation of women in politics. “Given the profile of the elected representatives, I can see that we are going to have difficulty establishing cohesion between the speeches. The polarized disputes that we will follow at the congress will also have an impact on the articulations and clashes between women within parliament. We have made progress, yes, but we still need to align agendas and discussions in order to have more effective actions”.
90 years of the first legislation
For the lawyer who founded Me Too Brasil, Marina Ganzarolli, “we have made progress in relation to other years, but it is important to remember that we are still very far from an eventual real need for gender parity in the congress.”
She points out that 90 years have passed since the first legislation that allowed part of women to vote and be voted on, in 1932, as long as they were married and had their husband’s permission and that they were single women with their own income.
“Not all women could vote. The vast majority were white women, who had the opportunity to enter the job market, so it was already a small portion of women. This was expanded in 1934, but it became absolutely universal, only in 1985. In other words, we made progress, but very slowly.”
Marina also points out that, in addition to the numbers, another important advance was in relation to the speeches. “Never before has the debate on women’s participation been so prominent and indeed addressed by presidential candidates as it was in these elections. I think this is an important step forward, even though it comes late.”
Despite the small advances, Marina highlights that women still suffer violence in political spaces, whether in more subtle forms, such as silencing and disdain, or the most serious, such as harassment and physical aggression.
“Machismo continues to be structural and structuring. An example is the women’s bathroom on the Senate floor, which was only built in 2016. This proves that we have a lot to overcome and it is important to remember that this greater voice does not directly mean the expansion of rights.”
Source: CNN Brasil