Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

Marlise Matos ─ Violence against Women in Politics (VAWIP): The Case of Dilma Rousseff

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

VAWIP is a serious threat to democracy, human rights, and gender equality all around the world – it cannot simply be dismissed as ‘politics as usual’ or the ‘normal cost’ of political participation.  Sexist political violence is a form of VAWIP based on gender to maintain male privileges in politics. They act against those who have, in some way, interventions in public and political life just to expel them from there, sustaining their exclusionary mandate of representation. I will show the case of Rousseff as an example of this kind of violence, describing how this violent mechanism operates and showing that we can understand it as a weakness of the democratic Brazilian State and also of our judicial systems that discriminate and make invisible the demands of women, reflecting, once again, the fragile and unfinished processes of Brazilian democratic consolidation.

Marlise Matos is an associate professor of political science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, on of the top five universities in Brazil and the largest federal university. Dr. Matos directs NEPEM, the Center for Studies and Research on Women (UFMG), whose mission is to develop research and teaching on gender relationships in Brazilian society and to extend a gender perspective throughout the university.