Professor helps draw up technical statement on legislation regarding women’s political rights
Professor Ligia Fabris of Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Rio de Janeiro Law School recently worked with the Group for the Advancement of Women’s Political Rights to draw up Technical Statement 2, regarding possible changes to Brazil’s electoral system.
The biggest of these changes would be brought in by Constitutional Amendment Proposal 125 of 2011, which would have an effect on the political participation of women, indigenous people and black people. Federal representative Renata Abreu (Podemos Party, Sao Paulo), the constitutional amendment proposal’s rapporteur, advocates the removal of a clause that requires at least 30% of candidates to be of both genders in elections and its replacement with a minimum requirement of 15% of places in the legislature at all three levels (federal, state and municipal).
The Group for the Advancement of Women’s Political Rights is against this proposal, as it believes it would hinder efforts to expand rights and also because these percentages have not been reached at the different legislative levels.
Technical Statement 2 highlights the following points:
- The countries that have advanced most in terms of female participation are those that have adopted a proportional representation system with lists of candidates and a minimum election quota of 30%, supported by mechanisms for controlling and punishing parties in case of noncompliance with these rules.
- Under the “large district” (“distritão”) model, people who are already in politics are privileged in elections, so opportunities for women, black people, indigenous people and other social groups are even smaller.
- The large district system favors individual competition, reinforces a logic of personal candidacies with privileged access to financial resources, weakens the programmatic agenda of political parties and deflates the idea of collectively constructed government projects, strengthening the concept of “every man for himself” in the exercise of policy making.
The Group for the Advancement of Women’s Political Rights is made up of more than 140 civil society organizations that are committed to promoting gender equality in democracy.