Black and poor women may decide who will be the next president of Brazil.
One of the most important and controversial elections in the world is looming in the next few months.
It’s the second most important in Latin America, and it will be decided by the same women who have dominated the polls for the past eight years in Brazil and the rest of South America.
Women vote overwhelmingly for women. In 2018, 84 per cent of women voters cast their ballots, a record for the world’s largest democracy and for any country with a female president. It will be up to women who make up a record 23 per cent of the electorate to vote for President Jair Bolsonaro in the first round.
The choice for the woman running against Bolsonaro, however, is not a foregone conclusion.
It is up to women to decide who is actually the best candidate to become the country’s next president, in a country which has, for several years, been ruled by a patriarchal and misogynistic political system.
In Brazil, it is women who are the majority of voters, women who, despite their majority status in society, are still often overlooked by the political system, and women who are also the majority of the population of Brazil.
In 2018, one in five voters were women — almost the same proportion as in Brazil.
A woman who is a mother of two, and a housewife with little formal education or professional training became the first woman candidate nominated for president of her own country in 2016.
Mariana Suplicy became the first woman president of Brazil in 2002 and is regarded as one of the most powerful women in Latin America. Her election as president of Argentina was challenged, however, by a group of men who considered her to be just another woman: they believed her to be a “good” candidate.
In the same year, Suplicy lost to Eduardo Duhalde in the presidential election, becoming the first woman president to be defeated by a man.
The two women who ran against Suplicy that