How female politicians are boycotted by Brazilian parties

. Sep 11, 2018
How female politicians are boycotted by Brazilian parties Female politicians still have little space in Brazilian politics

Since 2010, Brazil’s electoral legislation has ordered that women must comprise at least 30 percent of the candidates running for office for each political party. Time has shown, however, that parties have had trouble complying with that rule. In several cases, candidates register their own family members (sometimes, even without their knowledge) just to make up the quotas required by law.

The lack of commitment to gender equality in politics on behalf of Brazil’s political parties might explain why candidacies have grown by large numbers since the new rules began being enforced, but there has been no impact on how many women are actually elected into office.

Upon measuring the rate of elected women candidates, we see that the proportion is actually getting considerably smaller – due to the increased number of candidacies. 

</p> <h2>Female politicians in recent elections</h2> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-8554" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-gFx1u-1024x683.png" alt="women candidates female politicians" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-gFx1u-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-gFx1u-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-gFx1u-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-gFx1u-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-gFx1u.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-8552" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-OpP4n-1024x683.png" alt="women candidates female politicians" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-OpP4n-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-OpP4n-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-OpP4n-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-OpP4n-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-OpP4n.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-8551" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-2I7j1-1024x683.png" alt="women candidates female politicians" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-2I7j1-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-2I7j1-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-2I7j1-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-2I7j1-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-2I7j1.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>What about male candidates?</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By looking at the number of male candidates, you wouldn&#8217;t know that a law aiming at stimulating gender equality in politics had been created in Brazil. Take a look at the number of male candidacies and the number of male politicians actually elected into office.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-8553" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-uvcWG-1024x683.png" alt="women candidates female politicians" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-uvcWG-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-uvcWG-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-uvcWG-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-uvcWG-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-uvcWG.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-8549" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-4Qjcu-1024x683.png" alt="women candidates female politicians" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-4Qjcu-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-4Qjcu-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-4Qjcu-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-4Qjcu-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-4Qjcu.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-8548" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-w3f2h-1024x683.png" alt="women candidates female politicians" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-w3f2h-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-w3f2h-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-w3f2h-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-w3f2h-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-w3f2h.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Why haven&#8217;t things changed?</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Proportionally speaking, nothing has changed. Why is that so?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The first clue is to check which candidacies are rejected by the Electoral Justice system. We can see that far more women get the ax from the electoral courts when compared to their male counterparts. While the rate for deferred male candidates remains stable, the number has dropped among female politicians.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We do not know if the trend will remain in 2018, as the electoral courts have yet to analyze over half of the registered candidacies. Even so, it is possible to draw some conclusions from the numbers. </span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-8550" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-K3mAp-1024x683.png" alt="women candidates female politicians" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-K3mAp-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-K3mAp-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-K3mAp-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-K3mAp-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-K3mAp.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before the gender equality law was effective, the rate of deferred candidacies was the same among men and women. That changed </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">after</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> parties began having more female candidates.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the rush to fill the 30-percent female quota to stay in compliance with the law, female candidates are often registered with incomplete documentation, which poses no problems to the political parties. The legislation only requires them to present 30 percent of their candidacies as women &#8211; there&#8217;s no mention of these candidacies having to be valid. So, most parties continue investing their efforts into pushing their male leaders over the finish line.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During the campaign, political parties are offered some resources to distribute among candidates. They include money &#8211; the lion&#8217;s share of campaign funding comes courtesy of the taxpayer &#8211; and free airtime on television and radio. And 30 percent of which should be destined to female politicians. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Parties are obligated to disclose their financial information and inform who got how much for what. So, </span><b>The Brazilian Report</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will bring in-depth analysis on how our political parties are spending their resources. However, there&#8217;s no control over how each party decides who will receive exposure on television &#8211; which is a crucial factor in congressional races.

 
Marcelo Soares

Marcelo Soares is a Brazilian journalist specializing in data journalism and reader engagement.

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