Participation of black women in Brazilian politics increases, but violence persists

91 female federal deputies were elected, the largest representation of black or brown women in the parliament's history
In all, 91 female federal deputies were elected in Brazil in 2022. Foto: Marcello Casal Jr/Agência Brasil

By Gabriel Carriconde
From Brasil de Fato | Curitiba (Brazil)

As a result of the struggles of black women, Brazil elected a record number of declared black women to the Chamber of Deputies in the 2022 elections. In all, 91 female federal deputies were elected, the largest representation of black or brown women in the history of the Brazilian parliament. Despite the expressive number, the representativeness is still low: the number represents 8% of the Brazilian National Congress, in a country that has 56% of the population self-declared black or brown.

Another challenge is gender-based political violence. In the country that still has not solved the murder of former councilwoman Marielle Franco, around seven cases of political violence against black women occur every 30 days, according to data from the National Council of Justice. Since the typification of political violence against women, sanctioned by law in 2021, the Federal Public Ministry has counted about 112 cases.

For the minister of the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court, Claudia Bucchianeri, the political environment is still very toxic for women, who are “commonly offended, humiliated, threatened and disrespected exclusively because of their feminine condition”. The situation gets worse if they are black women.

“There are countless black female parliamentarians who demand special protection for themselves and their families so that they can exercise their mandates, given the volume of threats they receive exclusively because of politics and their condition as black women,” she said to the National Council of Justice website.

For Carol Dartora (Workers’ Party), the first black woman elected federal deputy for the state of Paraná, it is necessary to face the issue head on, including within the progressive sectors themselves. Having made herself available to the party to run for mayor of Curitiba (capital of Paraná), Dartora claims that her position is a response to what she considers a conservative thought that also permeates the left-wing.

“Since I announced my candidacy, I feel that there is a negative reaction from various sectors, especially because I represent the candidacy of a black woman who emerged victorious from the polls. It is a retrograde and conservative thought that permeates all sectors, and that tries to reduce the representation of black women”, she told Brasil de Fato, in an exclusive interview last month.

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Fonte: BdF Paraná

Edited by: Nadini Lopes e Lia Bianchini/Translated by: Lucas Peresin