Digital democracy Brazil

Strengthening Brazilian Democracy: The Media and Democracy Project

The Project “Media and Democracy” is a partnership between Democracy Reporting International, the School of Communication, Media and Information from Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV ECMI), the fact-checking platform Agência Lupa, the Diversity and Inclusion Program and the Center for Technology and Society (both from FGV Direito Rio). Funded by the European Union, the initiative aims to strengthen Brazilian democracy and the integrity of digital spaces. The collaboration between partners includes digital media monitoring and analysis, information checking and the creation of a Council to serve as a public space for promoting positive conversations with the participation of researchers, civil society, the public and platform representatives.

Gender and women’s rights: examining mobilisations and online reach of gender discourses of presidential candidates in 2022

Brazil has made significant strides in improving women’s rights and addressing gender-related issues. However, the country still ranks low in gender equality indexes, and women continue to face discrimination and violence. Despite recent progress, Brazil has experienced a rise in conservative ideology, fuelling movements that threaten the gains for women’s rights and economic inclusion. 

As indicated in our previous report, women’s rights and gender issues were strong contributing factors to the highly contentious 2022 Brazilian presidential election. Candidates from all political backgrounds fiercely competed for online attention by stoking debate about violence against women, their access to education, and abortion, which, at times, increased their engagement levels, our latest report shows. 

Using sentiment analysis and quantitative analysis of engagement rate, the main findings of the second report reveal that while most candidates used negative words when discussing gender-related issues, Jair Bolsonaro’s gender-related posts received the highest levels of engagement on Facebook, corroborating other relevant studies that suggest far-right political leaders successfully use gender issues to mobilise support for their agendas by appealing to emotions and unifying supporters. Furthermore, almost half of Bolsonaro’s top 10 posts on the platform were related to abortion and/or referenced a “leftist” agenda and “gender ideology”. Read our latest report to learn how the candidates employed gender and women’s rights in the campaigning for the 2022 presidential elections. 

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From violence to empowerment: how candidates in the 2022 Brazilian presidential elections addressed women’s rights and gender issues

The 2022 Brazilian presidential election was highly competitive as two eminent and polarising candidates contested for the top elected position in one of the world’s largest democracies. To capture attention in a women-majority electorate, the top political campaigns pushed their agendas on women’s rights and gender issues into mainstream political discourse. 

Using qualitative analysis of each candidate’s official government plan and quantitative topic modelling of over 25,000 posts from Facebook and Twitter, this report sheds light on the importance of women and gender for Brazilian political discourse. 

Our findings reveal that out of all issues related to women and gender, violence against women was the most discussed political issue online. Empowerment and representation were also widely touched upon, with some candidates calling for action and solidarity and others showing deference and recognition of common demands. Finally, few candidates mentioned abortion, although Jair Bolsonaro mentioned it the most and negatively associated it with the “leftist” agenda. See the latest report from our “Media and Democracy” project to understand how women and gender issues impacted political discourse in the 2022 Brazilian presidential elections.

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Gender and women_s rights on social media - Mobilisations, reactions and sentiment of posts made by presidential candidates in 2022 Download
From violence to empowerment - How candidates in the 2022 Brazilian presidential elections addressed women’s rights and gender issues Download

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