Gender Quotas Database

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Brazil (Federative Republic of Brazil)

Brazil (Federative Republic of Brazil) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 77 of 513 (15%) seats in the Cámara dos Deputados / Chamber of Deputies are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Upper House? No
  • For the Sub-National Level? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? Yes

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Apr 16, 2019

Single/Lower House

Cámara dos Deputados / Chamber of Deputies

Total seats 513
Total Women 77
% Women 15%
Election Year 2018
Electoral System List PR
Quota Type Legislated Candidate Quotas¤
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas¤ Constitution  
Electoral law Elections to the Chamber of Deputies are held using a list proportional representation system. Each list shall contain a minimum 30% and a maximum 70% of candidates of each sex (Article 10 (3) of Law 9.504 of 30 September 1997 regulating elections).
Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law If the gender quota requirement is not met, candidates of the over-represented sex can be removed (but not replaced by candidates of the under-represented sex). However, this only applies if the party submits candidates of the stipulated maximum per constituency. This maximum was raised from 100% to 150% of total seats per constituency with the introduction of the quota law. Subsequently, this provision has minimized the effect of the quota provisions.
Rank order/placement rules No None
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No data  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Quota at the Sub-National Level

  • Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas¤
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas¤ Constitution  
Electoral law Each list shall contain a minimum 30% and a maximum 70% of candidates of each sex (Article 10 (3)).
Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law If the minimum per centage is not met, candidates of the over-represented sex can be removed (but not replaced by candidates of the under-represented sex). However, this only applies if the party submits candidates of the stipulated maximum per constituency. This maximum was raised from 100% to 150% per cent of total seats per constituency with the introduction of the quota law. This provision has in practice minimized the effect of the quota provisions.
Rank order/placement rules No None

Additional Information

In 1995, Brazil adopted a 20 per cent minimum quota for female candidates in local elections and, in 1997, a new electoral law established that each party or coalition must include a minimum of 30 per cent and a maximum of 70 per cent of each gender for elections at any level, held through a proportional representation system. In addition, a 2009 amendment to the electoral law requires that political parties use at least 10 per cent of their free broadcast time and 5 per cent of their public campaign funds to promote the participation of women in politics.

A minimum of 5% of party funds shall be used to promote the political participation of women. Parties that don´t comply to this legislation must add a penalty of 12.5 percent of the amount that also has to be allocated to promote women’s participation. 10% of the total party air time should be used to promote women's participation. In the third and fourth elections following enactment, parties must allocate at least 15 percent of the total air time to promote women´s participation.

The Superior Electoral Court will also air 5 minutes of educational campaigns on radio and TV to foster women's political participation per day during the election campaign.

Sources

LEGAL SOURCES:

OTHER SOURCES:

Additional reading

  • Miguel, Luis Felipe 2008 'Las mujeres y la política partidaria' in Sample, K. and Llanos, B. (ed) Del Dicho al Hecho International IDEA
  • Schmidt, G and Araújo, C. ‘The Devil’s in the Details: Open List Voting and Gender Quotas in Brazil and Peru’, paper presented at the XXV International Congress of Latin American Studies Association, Las Vegas, October 2004.
  • Araújo, C. 2003. ‘Quotas for Women in the Brazilian Legislative System’, in International IDEA, The Implementation of Quotas: Latin American Experiences, Quota Workshop Report Series no. 2, Stockholm: International IDEA, pp. 72–87.
  • Araújo, Clara. 2002. ‘Ações afirmativas como estratégias políticas feministas’. Gênero, democracia e sociedade Brasileira, ed. Cristina Bruschini and Sandra G. Unbehaum. São Paulo: Fundação Carlos Chagas.
  • Htun, Mala N. 2002. ‘Mujeres y poder político en Latinoamérica,’ in International IDEA, Mujeres en el Parlamento. Más allá de los números, Stockholm: International IDEA, pp. 19-44.
  • Htun, Mala. 2002. ‘Puzzles of Women's Rights in Brazil.’ Social Research 69, no. 3. pp. 733-751.
  • Htun, Mala N. and Mark P. Jones. 2002. ‘Engendering the Right to Participate in Decision-Making: Electoral Quotas and Women's Leadership in Latin America.’ Nikki Craske and Maxine Molyneux(ed.) Gender and the Politics of Rights and Democracy in Latin America. New York: Palgrave. pp. 32-56.
  • Peschard, Jacqueline. 2002. ‘El sistema de cuotas en América Latina. Panorama general,’ in International IDEA. Mujeres en el Parlamento. Más allá de los números, Stockholm: International IDEA, pp. 173-186.
  • Arajo, Clara. 2001a. ‘As cuotas por sexo para a competio legislative: o caso brasileiro em comparao com as experincias internacionais’, in Revista Dados, Vol 44, n. 1.
  • Arajo, Clara. 2001b. ‘Analisnado Estratgias potencialidades e limites das polticas de cuotas do Brasil’, in Revista Estudos Feministas, Vol 9, n. 1.
  • Avelar, Lúcia. 2001. Mulheres na elite política brasileira. 2nd ed. São Paulo: Fundação Konrad Adenauer.
  • Jimenez Polanco, Jacqueline. 2001. ‘La représentation politique des femmes en Amérique Latine: une analyse comparée’ (Women's political representation in Latin America: a comparative analysis). Bérengère Marques-Pereira and Patricio Nolasco (ed.) La représentation politique des femmes en Amérique Latine(Women's political representation in Latin America). Brussels: L'Harmattan. pp. 27-81.
  • Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas. 2001. Women and Power in the Americas: A Report Card. Washington: Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas.
  • Articulação das Mulheres Brasileiras. 2000. Políticas públicas para as mulheres no Brasil. 5 anos após Beijing. Brasília: AMB.
  • Malheiros Miguel, Sônia. 2000. Una política de cuotas por sexo: Um estudo das primeiras experiências no legislativo brasileiro. Brasília: CFEMEA.
  • Osava, Mario. 2000. ‘Politics-Brazil: Indians Surpass Women in Elections.’ Interpress Service, October 9.
  • Araújo, C. 1999. ‘Cidadania Incompleta – O Impacto da Lei de Cotas sobre a Representação Política das Mulheres Brasileira’, unpublished, Rio de Janeiro: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Araújo, Clara. 1998. Mulheres e representacao politica: a experiencia das cotas no Brasil (Women and political representation: the quotas experiment in Brazil). Estudios feministas 6, no. 1. pp. 71-90.
  • Caldeira, Teresa P. R. 1998. ‘Justice and Individual Rights: Challenges for Women's Movements and Democratization in Brazil’. Jaquette, Jane and Wolchik, Sharon (eds.) Women and Democracy. Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Htun, Mala N. 1998. Women's Political Participation, Representation and Leadership in Latin America. Issue Brief, Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas.
  • Osava, Mario. 1998. ‘Brazil: Number of Female Candidates Increases, But Not Enough.’ Interpress Service, August 27.
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1997a. Men and Women in Politics: Democracy Still in the Making, A World Comparative Study. Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union.
  • Brazil Parliament website, http://www.camara.gov.br

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