Earlier this month, President Dilma Rousseff won the Brazilian elections for a second four-year term. The reports however state that this has had no effect on the number of female officeholders in the country which remain to be low.
Defeating Senator Aecio Neves by 51.6 percent to 48.3 percent in the presidential runoff, Rousseff, has been the first female head of state since the country became a republic but this has not brought about any substantial shift towards gender equality in politics as women are accounted for less than 31 percent of the 24,900 candidates for congressional and state office in this term.
According to a report by Business Standard, former environment minister Marina Silva came at the third place and leftist candidate Luciana Genro received only 1.5 percent of the vote. If Silva would’ve been the closest candidate after Rousseff, as predicted by the poles, Brazil would’ve had two women fighting head to head for the presidential position. Since that did not happen, Chile remains to be the only state where this has happened with Michelle Bachelet defeat Evelyn Matthei in December last year.
[Picture Courtesy: Wilson Centre]
This year saw women win only 51 of the 513 seats in the federal lower house and 11 of the 81 in Senate. According to the same report, amongst the 171 candidates for Brazil’s 27 state governorships, 17 were women but were eliminated in the first round. The only woman to make it was Suely Campos, who was elected as the governor of Roraima in the second round. However the two sitting women governors will be leaving in December.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Business Standard