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Newly Elected Women Face Racism in the Brazilian Congress

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State deputy Thainara Faria (PT) reported that she was prevented from signing the attendance book for parliamentarians

The Brazilian political landscape has witnessed significant changes in recent years, with a growing number of elected officials of color making their mark in state and federal races. Last year, Brazil experienced a historic moment as more diverse candidates successfully campaigned and secured seats, reflecting a demographic shift in political representation. This article delves into the rising trend of Black women and LGBTQ+ individuals winning elections, discusses the historical challenges they face, and highlights the need for continued efforts to combat racism in politics.

Deputy Thainara Faria, affiliated with the Workers’ Party (PT) and currently the youngest parliamentarian of the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo (Alesp), used her social networks this Friday to denounce yet another case of racism that she was a victim within the Legislative House itself.

In a video posted on her Instagram account, Faria reported that she was prevented from signing the attendance book for parliamentarians, even though she participated in an event as a deputy for more than three hours and was duly identified as such. Thrilled, the parliamentarian questioned whether the situation could be a misunderstanding.

In the caption, Thainara Faria highlighted that she decided to share the crying video to show that racism not only causes pain and suffering but can also be fatal. In addition, she stressed that it is important to show that, even though she is a public figure, she also has her weaknesses and moments of vulnerability. Over the past year, Brazil witnessed a significant increase in the number of elected officials of color across various political positions. This positive development has been particularly notable in the state and federal races, where a diverse array of candidates triumphed. The inclusion of these representatives not only reflects a more accurate representation of Brazil’s population but also amplifies the voices of historically marginalized communities.

Within the broader narrative of increased diversity, Black women and LGBTQ+ individuals have emerged as significant winners in Brazilian elections. This trend signifies a historic milestone in addressing the underrepresentation of these communities in politics. The victories of black women and LGBTQ+ candidates showcase the resilience, determination, and growing political awareness within these communities, breaking through barriers that have long hindered their progress. Unfortunately, the rise of elected officials of color has also been met with resistance from right-wing parties that have historically perpetuated racist rhetoric and actions. Instances of racism, such as the one experienced by Deputy Faria, shed light on the persisting structural racism within political institutions. It is crucial to recognize that these incidents are not isolated events but are symptomatic of broader systemic issues that need to be addressed to ensure equitable representation and opportunity for all.

“This is not misunderstood, this is pure racism, and the worst type of racism that exists, which is structural,” stressed the deputy.

This was not the first episode of racism experienced by Thainara Faria. On her first day as a deputy, on March 15, she claimed to have been mistaken for an advisor several times and denounced the racial issue in the episode. “I was mistaken for an advisor more than ten times and it was very difficult for me because I managed to materialize racism in that space,” she said in an interview with Brasil de Fato at the time.

The victories of Black women and LGBTQ+ individuals highlight the changing face of Brazilian democracy as historically marginalized communities gain visibility and influence. However, incidents like Deputy Faria’s encounter with racism emphasize the ongoing challenges faced by these officials.

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