Note from BW of Brazil: After one considers the details of today’s post it should be relatively simple to understand why we discuss the idea of representation and empowerment for black Brazilians in general and specifically black Brazilian women. It is because late in 2016 neither exists. And because of how ideas of race, place and power are seen in the mind of the average Brazilian, most people probably won’t even notice a problem. Although these same people would clearly be able to point out what color they would expect a maid to be. A recent previous article gave you a clue as to how difficult it is for any black political candidate to get elected for office in Brazil, so imagine the difficulty of a black woman. Do you think this is an exaggeration? Well, just take a look at the numbers below and you will see what position most people won’t imagine a black woman occupying.
Only 5 black women elected city councilors in 2016 in all of Brazil
By Hernani Francisco da Silva
According to the TSE, there were 493,534 candidacies throughout Brazil in the 2016 elections, of which 156,317 were female candidates. For the position of councilman/woman, there were 460,651 candidacies throughout Brazil. Of these, 151,390 (32.9%) were women, but only 15.3% (70,265) were black women. Considering only the women who declared themselves ‘pretas’ (black women), this proportion is 2.8% of the total candidates for councilman/woman in all of Brazil. Only 5 black women were elected city councilors in 2016. They are social activists, feminists, in defense of human rights, women, of blacks, of LGBTs and the excluded.
Marielle Franco – City councilwoman de Rio de Janeiro is from the Maré favela. She is a sociologist, a PSOL activist and coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Alerj. Marielle Franco, raising the banners of feminism and defending the favela (slum) population, attracted 46,000 voters, making her the fifth most voted in the city.
Talíria Petrone Soares – City councilwoman in Niterói
Affiliated to the Psol, she was the best voted of the city of Niterói in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Talíria Petrone, a black woman and activist of the movements in defense of minorities, blacks, women, LGBTs, youth and elderly.
Ana Nice – São Bernardo do Campo, affiliated with the PT (Worker’s Party)
She thanked the social and union movements in the region, as well as party mates. “I didn’t get 4,090 votes by myself, this is a collective achievement. We have a lot of struggle ahead, but we have a left wing caucus that will work for minorities, so that the social advances achieved in recent years are not lost.”
Verônica Lima – Councilor in Niterói affiliated with the PT was the first black female councilor of Niterói, elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. Verônica, born in São Gonçalo, besides the struggle for the black cause, dedicates her mandate to the cause of popular housing.
Áurea Carolina – City councilwoman in Belo Horizonte
The city councilwoman was elected with the highest number of votes in Belo Horizonte (BH, capital of Minas Gerais). The candidate for the PSOL, Áurea, began her political action in the Hip Hop movement of BH. A political scientist and graduate of the UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais), she is also a specialist in gender and equality from the Universidade Autônoma de Barcelona.
Source: Monica Aguiar Souza