UN Women launched www.cidade5050.org.br where candidates will be able to make public commitments to gender equality. The project was developed in a partnership between UN Women Brazil, the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), the Patrícia Galvão Institute and the Research Group on Democracy and Inequality at the University of Brasilia (Demodê/UNB). It has institutional support of Congress in Focus, and #MeRepresenta and In Press Group.
The digital platform "City 50-50: All for Equality", available at www.cidade5050.org.br aims to encourage debate on equal rights between women and men in local elections this year. The platform is a place where candidates can make commitments to gender equality and voters can get information to help them define their vote. It arises from the understanding that a society can only be called democratic when there is equal participation between women and men.
Candidates of the 5,568 Brazilian municipalities, which already have registered their candidatures with the TSE can register and make public commitments to promote women's rights during the election campaign. Voters, in turn, will be able to identify their candidates’ proposals for this topic, and afterwards make the elected accountable.
The Minister of the Superior Electoral Court, Luciana Lossio, highlighted some measures already taken to ensure women's political empowerment: "We had a major trial at the Superior Electoral Court that buoyed the condemnation to all political parties that do not comply with the 10 per cent allocation of radio and TV space to encourage women´s participation. Now we are joining in a partnership with UN Women, to seek a solution to this problem of the Brazilian Electoral Politics."
Among the more than 144 million Brazilian voters who will vote in October, 52% are women. However, only 31% of the candidates running for office (Mayors, Vice Mayor and City Council) are women - the percentage is within the law, which requires a minimum of 30% women candidates.
For this elections, 52 municipalities have only women as candidates for city council, according to a survey conducted in mid-August this year by the TSE. Only men compete for Mayor in 3,815 of the 5,568 municipalities, equivalent to 68% of the total. Currently, women occupy 10% of the municipalities and represent 12% of councilors in municipalities.
To read the full story, visit the UN Women regional website for Latin America and the Caribbean.