Subtitle The Rise and Fall of President Dilma Rousseff
Publisher Temple University Press
EAN/ISBN 978-1439916179
Release Date 2021-02-12
Authors Farida Jalalzai, Pedro A. G. dos Santos

In 2010, Dilma Rousseff was the first woman to be elected President in Brazil. She was re-elected in 2014 before being impeached in 2016 for breaking budget laws. Her popularity and controversy both energized and polarized the country. In Women’s Empowerment and Disempowerment in Brazil, dos Santos and Jalalzai examine Rousseff’s presidency and what it means for a woman to hold (and lose) the country’s highest power. 

The authors examine the ways Rousseff exercised dominant authority and enhanced women’s political empowerment. They also investigate the extent her gender played a role in the events of her presidency, including the political and economic crises and her ensuing impeachment. Emphasizing women’s political empowerment rather than representation, the authors assess the effects of women executives to more directly impact female constituencies—how they can empower women by appointing them to government positions; make policies that advance women’s equality; and, through visibility, create greater support for female politicians despite rampant sexism. 

Women’s Empowerment and Disempowerment in Brazil uses Rousseff’s presidency as a case study to focus on the ways she succeeded and failed in using her authority to empower women. The authors’ findings have implications throughout the world.