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Gender equality in Brazilian municipalities could last up to 144 years, study finds

Gender equality in Brazilian municipalities may take more than a century to achieve in Brazil, according to the report “Gender and Racial Inequality in Brazilian Politics”, prepared by Instituto Alziras in collaboration with Oxfam Brazil.

The survey shows that this should be a challenge for the next 144 years if the same rates of male and female selection are maintained. It may take 20 years to achieve racial equality.

The study is based on data from the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), which quantifies the profile of candidates and people elected to municipal executive and legislative bodies based on gender and race. The election years of 2016 and 2020, that is, the last two city elections, were analyzed.

Although they make up the majority of Brazil’s population and accumulate more years of schooling than male candidates, women represented less than 14% of Brazil’s mayoral candidates in 2020, the report said. Among those elected, men were in charge of 88% of the country’s cities. In 2016, the number of executive candidates was 13 percent.

In the legislature, the scenario is more representative thanks to the quota law and the special campaign finance fund (FEFC) in force from 2020, which stipulate that parties fill at least 30% of their vacancies with women and allocate the same percentage. to finance the campaign of these candidates.

As a result, chambers registered the equivalent of 35% of female councilor candidates in 2020, with access to 32% of campaign revenue. In 2016, there were 32.5% of female candidates with 21% of the total income.

“The Quota Act greatly accelerated this process so that we can achieve justice. This is clear when we compare the legislature and the executive,” says Michel Ferretti, founder and director of Instituto Alziras.

There is greater progress toward equality between blacks and whites on the issue of race. According to the study, in 2020, for the first time, black candidates were the majority (51.5%) on city councils and 45.1% among elected officials.

More than 50% of Brazil’s population consists of blacks and browns. For Alziras director, when the profile of black women is tracked, turnout is the lowest on record.

“If we consider that 25.4% of the population are black women, then proportionally we have the most excluded group from public life. For example, we also have problems with trans women, but proportionally, black women are the least involved in politics. In this context, we can question the concept of democracy in Brazil, because there is no such equivalence,” says Ferretti.

There are currently 6.3% of black female councilors in Brazil. About 57% of Brazilian municipalities have no black representatives in their chambers, and 978 cities (18% of the total) have no women in the municipal legislature.

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