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Brazil’s First Female President Makes Women Top Priority

Posted on Nov 1, 2010

Maybe certain other countries (ahem, USA) can learn from Brazil’s example, as the Brazilian people elected their first female president on Sunday, and the significance of the event in terms of gender equality wasn’t lost on President-elect Dilma Rousseff. After she won Sunday’s vote, Rousseff made her “first commitment” to her countrywomen in her victory speech, delivered in the capital city of Brasilia.

Click here for The Guardian’s in-depth analysis of the campaign, outcome and significance of Brazil’s big election.  —KA


“So I am here stating my first post-election commitment: to honour Brazilian women so that this fact—unprecedented until now—becomes something normal and can be repeated and expanded in companies, public institutions, and organisations that are representative of our entire society.”

She continued: “I would like very much today for fathers and mothers of daughters to look in their eyes and tell them: ‘Yes, a woman can.’”

Ms Rousseff, a former Marxist rebel who was imprisoned for three years in the early 1970s for resisting military rule, promised to protect freedom of expression and worship, and to honour the constitution.

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