10 Sep

“Which women are these?”: sociologist analyzes Lula and Bolsonaro’s proposals for gender issues

by Desenrola e não me enrola

Por Evelyn Vilhena | Edition: Ronaldo Matos

Updated 21 de October, 2022 at 11:03 am

During the month of September, Desenrola will carry out interviews with specialists who will analyze the government plans of the candidates for the Presidency and the Government of the State of São Paulo. The starting point for producing the analyses are the social markers that cross the lives of women, indigenous peoples, black people, peripheral and LGBTQIA populations.

In the first interview to analyze the government plans of the two main presidential candidates, Lula (PT) and Bolsonaro (PL), sociologist Anabela Gonçalves brings an overview of the proposals aimed at women. According to her, in general, the government plans present a generic aspect and are oriented by the ideological views of each candidate.

“We have two candidates who have different plans of government. Bolsonaro presents a liberal plan of policies focused on economic growth. The other candidate, Lula, presents more humanitarian proposals taking into consideration the various social groups that make up our nation”

points out Anabela Gonçalves, who also works in the areas of gender, public policies, and culture in the peripheries.
The sociologist points out that she feels a lack of coherence from the current president, because in his proposals he cites the right to religious freedom “when he himself has not created any measure to protect the religions of African origin, which were heavily attacked during his government,” she points out.

Another point observed by the specialist is that in Lula’s government plan, she notes coherence, but does not identify how everything that the candidate proposes will be guaranteed: “for me it seems like a mystery”, she evaluates.

“Women appear more broadly in the work plans, related to entrepreneurship, participation in parliament, productive inclusion, and combating violence, but the question is: which women are these?”

wonders Anabela about social markers when thinking about women’s demands.
According to the sociologist, in the plan of the candidate for re-election, Jair Bolsonaro, it is not possible to visualize in a few lines which women are being addressed. “It is not identified whether you talk about poor women, disadvantaged women or mothers, whether they are black, indigenous, quilombolas, riverside or peasant women. They and their specific needs don’t really appear appointed” she says.

In her analysis, the sociologist points out that the candidate for re-election, Bolsonaro, does not change his political performance that ties women to family and motherhood.



Translation of image 1:
Bolsonaro’s government plan
48 pages

The word “women” appears 22 times being associated mainly with: “employability of young people and women”, entrepreneurship, productive inclusion/ citations involving family/ plan to confront violence against women/ promotion and training to expand women’s participation in parliament/ exercise of motherhood

The term “woman” appears 11 times, being associated mainly with: the labor market/ “the role of women in modern society, after all it is up to them to be the head of about 50% of the families in Brazil”.

6 mentions of the word “Quilombolas” and 13 mentions of the word “Indigenous”, but none of them with direct mentions of black women, indigenous and quilombolas in the government plan. No mention of black man or black woman in Bolsonaro’s government plan


She notes that the candidate for election, Lula, presents who women are and the need for public policies for this population tied to gender, race, and class. “Both in terms of policies that have been interrupted in the current administration, and the intensification of historical struggles,” Anabela points out.



Translation of image 2:
Lula’s government plan
21 pages

It uses only the word “women”, without the denomination “woman”, and it appears 9 times, being associated mainly with: reference to the dismantling of public policies for this public/ the prevention, investigation, and processing of crimes of violence against women/ the promotion of women in science, in arts, in political representation, in public management, and in entrepreneurship/ the promotion of women’s health/ the fight against police violence against black women.

3 mentions of the word “Quilombolas”, 3 mentions of the word “indigenous”, 1 mention of “black man”, and 7 mentions of “black woman”, relating these two markers – women and black women – directly when talking about police violence and confronting poverty.


“In Bolsonaro’s proposal, women are a generic term and many times the document discusses citizens and forgets about female citizens, which are never presented wrapped up in important concepts such as race, gender, and class,” the sociologist points out.

Anabela adds that what the reelection candidate Bolsonaro calls the core values and principles of his government plan are tied to being against abortion, presenting the term unborn in the same line that addresses the right to property. “In my opinion, a candidate cannot write in his proposals ‘freedom is as important as life itself’ and ignore the right to abortion”, she argues.

“Specifying policies and their participants is more than necessary and combats a generic plan of work, as if inequality can be fought equally”

says Anabela about the need to consider race, gender, and class in the decision making and creation of public policies for the population.
The intellectual points out that in Lula’s proposals, genocide is considered to exist. “Giving face to women, especially black women, in a government plan is more than necessary nowadays”.

Access Lula’s government plan

Access Bolsonaro’s government plan

Anabela reinforces that the generic relationship when dealing with women, which ignores the racism and violence that some groups suffer, is worrying.

“For me, that’s where the great danger lies, everyone talks about work and income, education, and infrastructure, but only on one level do these projects take into consideration the relations of inequality and social diversity”, she concludes.

Sexism and politics in social networks

With support from the School of Communication, Media, and Information at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV ECMI), we monitored 95 thousand posts on twitter in the last 10 days, of which 36% were made by female users and 64% by men. The main objective is to show the political polarization present in publications on the web involving presidential candidates Jair Bolsonaro and Lula.

We analyzed 40 publications with the highest number of engagement and shares on twitter in this period involving mentions of the words “women, family, and Bolsonaro,” a direct reference to the re-election candidate’s government plan.

In 27 publications, which yielded more than 6 thousand shares on twitter, Bolsonaro has a base of allies who turn the debate about sexism and misogyny into an attempt to show a president concerned with calling on women to think about strategies to strengthen family ties, thus creating a similarity with the sociologist’s analysis of Bolsonaro’s government plan.

On the other side, public figures and politicians who oppose the left-wing lead 13 publications with more than 35 thousand shares on twitter, where they reinforce messages of support for women who work as journalists, artists, and program hosts, who have been the target of Bolsonaro’s hate speeches.

The Digital Democracy Room at FGV ECMI is an initiative to monitor and analyze the public debate on the internet. Currently, it has partnerships to help monitor politics on the networks in Brazil and in Latin America. This content was produced by the partner Desenrola e não me enrola.