Of Brazil’s 207.7 million inhabitants, just over half are women. Women are gaining ground in important areas, occupying 43 percent of the workplace and becoming the primary breadwinners in 37.3 percent of households. The country elected its first-ever female president, Dilma Rousseff, in 2010. Brazil is home to some of the world’s largest and most famous gay pride parades, and same-sex marriages have been legal since 2012. But despite these strides, cultural attitudes and public policies alike leave significant room for progress when it comes to gender and equality.
In concrete terms, Brazilian women earn 74.5 centavos to every 1 real earned by men. Women remain disproportionately responsible for household chores. Female representation remains low in politics as well as in business leadership positions, and gender-based violence and sexual harassment remain commonplace in almost all contexts. In the wake of Rousseff’s 2016 impeachment, human rights advocates were given cause to worry in the form of then-interim President Michel Temer’s instalment of an all-white, all-male cabinet, and scrapping of the Ministry for Women’s Rights.