Opinion

Gender balance reform long overdue in Brazil’s lower house

A bill to enforce gender quotas in legislative assemblies has been in limbo since 2016. The Speaker promised a vote this week, but chances are slim

Gender balance reform long overdue in Brazil’s lower house
Men have dominated House seats in Brazil. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr

Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, has promised to sponsor a floor vote this week on a bill to institute gender quotas in municipal councils, state legislative assemblies, and the federal lower house itself. Mr. Maia stated that female representation has been “insufficient” in the country’s proportional elections. “Today, there are almost two thousand municipalities without a single woman in local councils”, he added.

The bill would reinforce incentives for gender equality in Brazil’s legislative bodies: laws already state that at least 30 percent of a given party’s candidates must be women, and that these...

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