FGV participates in legal debate on female representation in Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court
The Minister of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court (STF), Edson Facchin, accepted an amicus curiae motion filed on October 4 by the Nucleus for Legal Practice (NPJ) of FGV’s Rio de Janeiro Law School (Direito Rio), into the records for Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) No. 5.617. The ADI addresses minimum and maximum limits of the partisan fund for female candidate campaigns.
Direito Rio represents Citizenship, Study, Research, Information and Action (CEPIA), an important organization with actions that focus on gender equality. The ADI is discussing the constitutionality of the standard set forth in Art. 9 of Law 13.165/2015, which regulates the allocation of Partisan Fund resources to campaigns for female candidates and establishes financing limits at a minimum of 5% and a maximum of 15%. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office (PGR) proposed the action.
Supervised by professor Lígia Fabris, eleven undergraduate students attended the clinic that produced the amicus curiae.
“The legal provision questioned (Art. 9 of Law 13.165/2015) is unconstitutional because, by imposing not only a negligible lower limit, but also an upper limit to campaign financing for women, it consolidates, intensifies and legitimizes the immense material inequality already existing between men and women in Brazilian politics”, explains the professor.
She adds that although it has been presented as a measure to promote material equality through differentiated treatment, the provision actually works in the opposite direction and attacks gender equality itself, further restricting female access to elected positions.
“The principle of equality between men and women (Art. 5, I), the fundamental purposes of the Republic (Art. 3, I, III and IV of the Constitution), as well as several provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) are being violated,” adds Lígia Fabris.
Professor André Mendes, coordinator of the NPJ, emphasizes the importance of legally representing the feminist CEPIA entity.
“We are very pleased to represent CEPIA in the ADI proceedings, whose founders Leila Barsted and Jacqueline Pitanguy have historically defended women’s rights”, says the professor.
Student Vanessa Tourinho, one of those responsible for producing the amicus curiae, highlighted that the opportunity to participate in the fight to include women in politics is a source of pride.
“This is one of the things I am most proud to have participated in during my time here at FGV. The chance to join the battle to include women in politics, and to see that disrespect is not occasional, but actually systematic encouraged me even more to fight for the effective inclusion of women in all fields”, she stated.
Bruna Diniz, who also participated in the clinic, stressed that this was a unique experience due to the possibility of transforming the situation of female under-representation in politics, attempting to indicate legislative problems with harmful effects to all spheres of a woman’s life.
In addition to Vanessa and Bruna, the memorandum was produced by Júlia Brandão, Lorena Bitello, Maria Beatriz Gomes, Natália Bahury, Pedro Henrique Costa, Sofia Mandelert, Vinicius da S. Cardoso, Yasmin Curzi and Bernardo Sarmet.
What is an Amicus Curiae?
The Latin expression amicus curiae means ‘friend of the court’, and allows an entity with national representation to issue an opinion on relevant cases handled by the Supreme Federal Court (STF), extending and improving the surrounding debate.