Brazil’s Lula government makes moves to reverse setbacks for women under Bolsonaro
Women march marking International Women's Day, in Brasilia, Brazil, March 8, 2022. Brazil's President Lula announced measures on Wednesday seeking to promote and protect women after years of setbacks. | Gustavo Moreno / AP

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva has announced measures to promote and protect women after years of setbacks blamed on the rise of the far right.

At a ceremony in the capital Brasília on Wednesday, Lula, as the president is universally known, presented a package of over 25 measures, including a bill that would guarantee equal pay for women and men doing the same jobs.

He also announced plans to spend 372 million reais ($72 million USD) to build domestic violence shelters and 100 million reais ($19.3 million) on science projects led by women.

Lula has expressed his gratitude to women, whose votes helped him beat his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro in last October’s presidential election.

On Wednesday, he criticized Bolsonaro for making policy decisions that harmed Brazilian women.

Flanked by his female ministers on International Women’s Day, the president said, “The previous government lacked respect when it opted for the destruction of public policies, cut essential budgetary resources, and tacitly motivated violence against women.”

Lula also issued a decree guaranteeing the distribution of free menstrual pads for all poor and vulnerable women. Bolsonaro vetoed similar legislation in 2021.

Of the government’s 37 ministers, a record 11 are female. During most of his administration, Bolsonaro had just two women in his ministerial team.

Morning Star


Roger McKenzie
Roger McKenzie

Roger McKenzie is the International Editor of Morning Star, Britain’s daily socialist newspaper. He is the author of the book "African Uhuru: The Fight for African Freedom in the Rise of the Global South" published by Manifesto Press.