More Women in Politics Rio de Janeiro State Forum analyzes 15% quota for women in politics
The More Women in Politics Rio de Janeiro State Forum has issued a technical statement setting out statistical simulations and a brief analysis regarding a proposal for a 15% quota for women in municipal councils, state legislative assemblies and the House of Representatives, to contribute to debate on Constitutional Amendment Proposal 125 of 2011. The document was produced by Ligia Fabris, a professor and researcher at FGV’s Rio de Janeiro Law School; Clara Araújo, a professor and researcher at Rio de Janeiro State University’s Gender Inequalities and Relations Study Center; and Michelle Ferreti, a researcher and co-director of the Alziras Institute.
The technical statement illustrates the effects of this proposed new policy, which has been presented as beneficial to women candidates, showing that in fact it could have major negative consequences. The way it is currently drafted, the constitutional amendment proposal may freeze the proportion of women in politics and even reduce women’s presence, especially in smaller municipalities.
This analysis was based on the 2018 election results for the House of Representatives and state legislative assemblies, as well as the 2020 municipal election results. To start with, women’s overall situation at the three legislative levels was observed. The authors argue that future in-depth analysis of the data, including a racial breakdown, is necessary.
Here are the main points made in the statement:
- Women already account for more than 15% of members of the House of Representatives. The only region in which fewer than 15% of federal representatives are women is the Northeast, which has 27% of the country’s population;
- Women also account for more than 15% of state legislative assembly members. This applies to 14 states, which have 61% of Brazil’s population;
- Women represent 16% of municipal councilors. Just 17% of Brazil’s municipalities (944 in number), accounting for 11% of the country’s population, do not have any elected female municipal councilors;
- There is the risk of women losing 910 seats in municipal councils, in relation to the results of the 2020 elections.
According to the technical statement, any proposal ought to be above the levels already achieved. The authors argue that at least 30% of candidates should be women and parties ought to be penalized if they do not fill this quota. They also argue that at least 30% of state election funds and free election broadcast hours should be allocated to female candidates, and black people should be treated proportionately.
The More Women in Politics Rio de Janeiro State Forum’s members include the FGV Rio de Janeiro Law School’s Diversity Program; the Social Policy Graduate Study Program at Fluminense Federal University; Rio de Janeiro State University’s Gender Inequalities and Relations Study Center; the Citizenship, Study, Research, Information and Action Campaign (CEPIA) and the Alziras Institute. The Rio de Janeiro Regional Electoral Prosecutor’s Office is also a partner.
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