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In Brazil, the bulwark of women against the extreme right

Faced with the misogynistic, racist and homophobic rhetoric of the extreme right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, women’s vote is a central issue in the October 7th poll.

Demonstration of women against the extreme right-wing candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, on September 29, in Brasilia.

Ludmilla Teixeira, 36, considers that she has only “scratched a match on a barrel of powder.” Modest, the 30-year-old hopes to tip the presidential election in Brazil. “Impulsive”, “feminist” and “anarchist”, this resident of Salvador de Bahia, regional capital of the Brazilian Nordeste, is at the origin of the Facebook page “Mulheres unidas contra Bolsonaro” (women united against Bolsonaro).

A movement that federated the indignation of 3.9 million women on the social network against Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing candidate, getting the support of stars such as Madonna and provoking massive demonstrations throughout the country, Saturday September 29th. To the cries of “Ele Nao” (not him) the women showed their deep rejection of the rude, misogynistic, racist and homophobic speech of the candidate. “There were so many people! I cried, “says Ms. Teixeira, sure that women are able to prevent the victory of the candidate hated.

For some analysts, these events represent a historic turning point, witnessing the growing involvement of women in politics. In 2014, only 9% said they were interested in elections; in 2018, the proportion has more than doubled to 20%, underlines a survey of the Hello institute made public in September. “The political commitment of women has become a social phenomenon of resistance,” writes political scientist Mathias de Alencastro, in the daily Folha de Sao Paulo on 1 October.

“Cry now, cry! ”

A few days before the polls on Sunday, October 7, Jair Bolsonaro remains the favorite polls in the first round, with 31% of voting intentions, ahead of Fernando Haddad (21%) of the Workers’ Party (PT, left), says a survey Ibope published Monday. But the infantry captain is not sure of winning in the second round, scheduled for October 28th. In front of…

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