Black and poor women may decide who will be the next president of Brazil,” said the director of a Brazilian think tank, the Política de Defesa Social, who asked not to be identified.
“This is not the end of the world.”
In the past, women, often the most economically active segment of Brazil’s population and in some regions the majority, have had little voice in national politics or in local decisions about the economy.
But the elections result last month could represent a turning point for women, said Camila Sartori, a political scientist at Brazil’s University of São Paulo.
“Women and the poorest class know they can change,” she said. “Women are not afraid of politics, they would rather vote for candidates who will help their fight for equality.”
The vote, which saw around 70 million people cast ballots, was the first in a series of national elections since Brazil’s military rulers, Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, were ousted by a new government that began an eight-year process last year to restore democracy.
In the election, President Dilma Rousseff, a leftist champion of the poor and minorities, was re-elected to a second six-year term.
The president is now in the final phase of her impeachment trial, which will decide whether Rousseff faces possible jail time.
The ruling has been met with anger by the left and the right, which have been pushing Rousseff to resign or run for president again in 2018, when her six-year term expires.
The victory of leftist candidates in the presidential elections has been met with fears of a right-wing push to take power.
“The country is moving to the left, from the government with a pro-business platform to the pro-worker platform. The left has just emerged, and that is important,” said Luiz Gama de Moura, a professor of political science at Rio de Janeiro’s State University.
“The question now is if