Women protest against Bol­sonaro can­di­dacy

The Gulf Today - - AMERICAS -

RIO DE JANEIRO: Women will take to the streets in cities across Brazil on Satur­day in a wave of protests against the can­di­dacy of the right-wing fron­trun­ner in next week’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, Jair Bol­sonaro.

Marches or­ga­nized by a so­cial me­dia cam­paign un­der the hash­tag #Ele­nao (Not Him) are planned in around 80 cities, in­clud­ing Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The 63-year-old for­mer army cap­tain has been branded racist, misog­y­nist and ho­mo­pho­bic by his de­trac­tors.

Sup­port­ers laud his tough stance on tack­ling Brazil’s ris­ing crime rate and his pledge to pro­tect tra­di­tional fam­ily val­ues.

“Women of Brazil, women out­side Brazil, all women, it’s time to join in,” said Ludimilla Teix­eira, one of the or- Ganiz­ers. “EITHER we Join now to ight or we’re go­ing to gather to mourn later.”

The women’s cam­paign was launched in early Sep­tem­ber with a Face­book group “Women united against Bol­sonaro”.

It called on women from all po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sions to come to­gether “against the ad­vance­ment and strength­en­ing of machismo, misog­yny, racism, ho­mo­pho­bia and other prej­u­dice.”

The hash­tag went vi­ral, gain­ing more than four mil­lion fol­lows.

“We can­not al­low fas­cism to ad­vance in Brazil,” Teix­eira said, call­ing Bol­sonaro a “dis­as­trous” can­di­date.

Bol­sonaro is re­cov­er­ing in hospi­tal af­ter be­ing stabbed and se­ri­ously wounded by a left-wing ac­tivist dur­ing a rally on Sep­tem­ber 6.

He re­cently an­gered women by seek­ing to jus­tify a yawn­ing wage gap be­tween fe­male and male em­ploy­ees.

The can­di­date has pre­vi­ously ar­gued against em­ploy­ing women if it was likely they would be­come preg­nant.

One of the ac­tivists in the cam­paign, ac­tress and singer Leti­cia Sa­batella, said Bol­sonaro was “an ex­tremely fas­cist, racist, ho­mo­pho­bic, can­di­date.”

“He un­der­es­ti­mates women, un­der­es­ti­mates ho­mo­sex­u­als, un­der­es­ti­mates blacks,” said ac­tress Caro­line Abras, one of dozens of celebri­ties back­ing the “Not Him” cam­paign.

Demon­stra­tions are planned in around a dozen other coun­tries, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Ar­gentina and Por­tu­gal.

“There is no record of such a broad mo­bi­liza­tion of women,” in re­cent Brazil­ian his­tory, said an­a­lyst Li­gia Fabris Cam­pos, of the Ge­tulio Var­gas Foun­da­tion.

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