The evolution of female participation in politics in Brazil and China was the main topic of the seminar, “Women’s Participation in Politics,” held on Wednesday, June 8, as part of the schedule of events for the Week of Women’s Culture and Development in China and Brazil.
According to Brazilian Minister Nilcéa Freire, of the Special Secretariat of Policies for Women, “The encounter serves to discuss the creation of conditions for women to participate more actively in formal politics in the two countries.”
The Minister also observed that, although Brazil has more women at the head of municipal and state governments than ever before, projects to qualify women for politics are needed.
The cultural week was sponsored by the Chinese Women’s Federation, in conjunction with the Brazilian Women’s Confederation (CMB), and was attended by 2,000 Brazilian women and over 100 Chinese female leaders.
For the vice-president of the CMB, Rosa Melo, government leaders must do more to establish policies that will open doors for women to the country’s decision-making forums.
“Government leaders lack political will,” said Melo, who is also president of the Women’s Federation of the state of Bahia.
The CMB, which was founded in 1985, develops projects in partnership with the federal government and national and multinational companies for the literacy and professional training of women.
At present, around 31 thousand women are being taught to read and write, and another 86 thousand are receiving professional qualification.
For the president of the Chinese Women’s Federation, Gu Xiulian, the seminar strengthens the women’s struggle in the sense of “guaranteeing the rights and interests of women and stimulating the participation of women in politics and decision-making.”
In the past 30 years Chinese women have won significant victories in the social area, as well as a growing participation in political posts in the country.
In the last five years five million unemployed Chinese women received training courses, and two million of them found jobs.
In 1995, around 40 representatives of the CMB participated in the IV World Conference of Women, in Beijing.
During the meeting, organized by the United Nations (UN), the Brazilian women learned about the joint efforts of the Chinese government and the National Chinese Women’s Federation for the integration of women in the country.