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How Women Can Win It For Bolsonaro – Foreign Policy

RIO DE JANEIRO – A month ago in Brazil, a wave of protests swept through the cities of Brazil. Thousands…

RIO DE JANEIRO – A month ago in Brazil, a wave of protests swept through the cities of Brazil. Thousands of women raging and worried by firefighter Jair Bolsonaros sprint against the presidency, marched through streets to cry of “Ele Não” (“Not Him”). But two days later, polling data from the investment company Ibope showed that Bolsonaro’s leadership had only increased, including in opposition to the Ele Não movement from conservative voters. During the first round of the vote on October 7, Bolsonaro consolidated that lead and made him comfortable, if not decisive, in front of his opponent.

Now, when Brazil strikes a rounded poll on Sunday, October 28, Bolsonaro will meet the former mayor of Sao Paolo and teacher Fernando Haddad, candidate for the Labor Party (PT); He is projected to easily claim victory. For some women, the election is strong: voting against Bolsonaro, known to promise Brazil’s military dictatorship and for comments that a female colleague in Congress was too ugly to “deserve” rape or to vote for him despite these misogynistic comments as a defender of traditional family values ​​and ethical policies in the wake of prolonged political corruption and a struggling economy. The two movements &#821

1; # EleNão and #EleSim (“Yes, Honom”) have shared women as much as they have shared the country.

That women can be decisive for Bolsonaro’s victory, instead of cementing his defeat, may seem to contradict his public image. As late as last month, as many as 50 percent of women said they would not vote for Bolsonaro under any circumstances.

“He is violent. He says repeatedly that he believes women should earn less than men and we must admit that a president with a discourse like him would be a big step back for women,” said Giovanna Ramalho, a 22-year-old student at UERJ, Rio de Janeiro State University, who participated in last month’s protests. “He does not deserve to have such an important role in our country.” Clara Maria de Oliveira Araújo, a political professor at UERJ, specializing in female political participation, says that this theory can make women’s voices a decisive factor in Sunday’s results, but it is assumed that women are united. They are not.

Despite Bolsonaro’s litany of sexist, racist, homophobic and autocratic comments, the Brazilian women are likely to support him as their male counterparts. This is because many of them are tired of watching close to nightly news stories about political corruption scandals and giant bribery in connection with public services struggling to cope with pushed budgets and increasing violent crime. They want a radically different president than they previously seen.

“There are some voters who believe that his talk only speaks, rather than suggestions,” said Araújo. “And there is another group who thinks that there may be a danger that he will fulfill his promises but that he is still better than the alternative.”

Isabella Matarazzo, an architect of the 1950s, does not believe that feminist values ​​are incompatible with supporting Bolsonaro. For Matarazzo it is meant that progress and equality are not given concessions because of perceived socioeconomic disadvantages, such as social class, sex or race – despite the acute economic inequality in Brazil that hardest affects women and minorities. “I’m both feminine and feminist. I do not feel like a victim. I feel like a protagonist,” she said. “You are not waiting for the government to save you. We women have to make their own profits.”

Like many female Bolsonaro supporters, Matarazzo has a single criterion that prevails over all others when it comes to choosing the country’s next leader : corruption. Dual political and economic crises launched in 2014 have taken their toll on Brazil, triggered by the global commodity crisis and a simultaneous attack on high-profile political corruption scandals revealed by the extensive operational wash. In March 2018, four years after the investigation began, 237 people had been convicted of crimes, including corruption and the intention of forming a criminal gang, with senior executives and politicians who agreed to request agreements of more than 3.5 billion dollars in payments to state. Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who brought NPT to power in 2002, is among those who now award a prison sentence on corruption costs. He was barred from running to president just a few weeks before the first round of the election.

“A government with a clean record is the most important in this election,” said Matarazzo. “If you’re corrupt, you’re taking money from public institutions, taking people out of hospitals and out of school schools. The government must put an example to the people who look at them and say,” If they rob, why can not I? “” [19659002] Refusal of PT-about 52 percent of voters have turned away from the party remains among the main reasons for Bolsonaro’s ascension, even among women. Despite the weakest recession in its history in June 2017, Brazil’s economy is struggling to regain its former strength: Some 12.7 million Brazilians are still unemployed due to weak GDP growth, which has fluctuated over 1 percent for much of the past year , according to the International Monetary Fund. And after witnessing services such as public health and education campaigns in connection with revelations of billions of dollars in political terms, the Brazilians are angry.

“Corruption caused major damage to the country,” said Sandra Cristovam, a 60-year-old small entrepreneur “PT had everything in their hands. They had a chance.”

Mauricius Santoro, a International Relations Professor at UERJ, said that Brazilians tend to credit PT with everything that happened during the 13-year party in the country’s leadership. Supporting support progressive strategies, such as the pioneering poverty reduction initiative Bolsa Família, a social welfare program created in 2003 that helped lift 36 million people out of poverty by 2014. However, Santoro said that voters opposed to NPT blame the party alone for corruption and economic decline, reversing the election to a “referendum on PT”.

“Many people make a connection between the economic crisis and corruption,” said Santoro. “With Bolsonaro, this support for him is much more related to this generalized rejection of all political parties.”

But among some women, it is more than just anger at an perceived status quo of political corruption. Instead, it is a feeling that Bolsonaro shares the same values ​​they love.

“Bolsonaro is someone whose goal is family and god. He is someone we can trust,” says Marília Gil, a senior citizen. “He has always been a patriot. He is the only one who can transform our country right now – there is nobody else. “

Brazil is a deep religious country and an increasingly conservative. Although it is still the most folklore Catholic land on earth, gospels have grown at a rapid pace in recent decades. In the 2010 Census, about 42 million Brazilians reported – about 22 percent of the population – themselves as evangelical.

Christina Vital, a sociologist at Fluminense Federal University, studying gospels in national politics, said that many religious Brazilians saw NPT’s social justice policy as a threat to their religious values. “Left was associated with identity agendas, such as female autonomy and LGBT rights, “she said.” Evangelicals and Catholics understood this as a risk to the standards that existed until that time. “

Brazil’s evangelical population has proved to be a formidable force under the election, with sufficient weakness that candidates across the board seek approval from popular preaching such as television artist Silas Malafaia. In 2012, Malafaia claims 40 candidates in seven states in municipal elections as a factor in their success. by 2014 presidential election, even then-president Dilma Rousseff used religiousity to improve her image among evangelical voters. And on September 30 this year, just a few days before the first round of voting, Bolsonaro received an approval from Evangelical Pastor Edir Macedo, who founded the Kingdom of God’s Great Neo-Pentecost and an expanded evangelical media network, RecordTV. (He was reportedly worth $ 1.1 billion in 2015.)

“Politicians confessing religious beliefs end up reinforcing their political capital among different parties and denominations,” says Vital. “It’s a game.”

Yet, Araújo, political science professor, said it’s effective. “Bolsonaro has really pursued a conservative moral agenda that awakes a lot for the evangelical part of society,” she explained, adding that there are still more women than men in the neo-pingst churches in Brazil. By placing Christian values ​​in addition to moral upheaval in political corruption and status quo, Araújo said that Bolsonaro can act as a savior. “In connection with this political crisis, it means that people associate him with family and with stability,” she said.

Bolsonaro’s offers do not win over all valuers. Camila Mantovani, a 24-year-old evangelist activist, said that Bolsonaro’s religious appeals are obvious ploys. “He sees Christian only as a means of choice. He had to write the word” God “on his hand during a debate to remember to mention God!” She said. Mantovani added that she was disgusted by his consistent advocacy of violence as a solution to Brazil’s problems and that his desire to give the police a “license to kill” is incompatible with evangelical values. “I feel sick of it and the fact that many people believe in him. That man is not Christian,” she said.

However, for some women, despite what many see as inconsistencies in his assumption of religion, he is a sincere spoken devotee representing changes that they want to see engage in in Brazil. They believe that the greatest risk for the country’s future is to allow any party to political corruption to come into force and that the choice of Haddad would mean continuing the most recent, difficult chapter in Brazil’s story. After PT’s 13 years in power, voters jump on the chance to choose someone who seems to knock out the party from the country’s highest office.

“Dictatorship is what we have today in Brazil, a political and ideological dictatorship,” says Gabriella Cardoso, a 27-year-old small entrepreneur. “We want a political review – not just an ideological review but a cultural and ethical review. For us, Jair Bolsonaro is that.”

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