What it means to have a female president
For the first time in the history of Brazil we have elected a female president. What does that mean?
Although I believe in the importance of alternating powers, which in practice means that no party should stay in government for a long time I do think that the Worker's Party in Brazil has brought some change in the leadership of our country. We may dislike their politics, but they have broken some pretty strong paradigms that we have as a Brazilian culture, or as a general Latin American culture.
First, there was Lula, the first president that was elected with a poor background. Our political system is elitist. It's run by political families, with a lot of years in power and, of course, money. Lula was the first president that actually knew was it was like to be poor in Northeast Brazil, areas that have the same HDI as Ethiopia, while families with money have the means to send their kids to travel abroad, go to the best colleges, have the best cars and access to all the finer things in life, children of "sertão" starve. That's why many leave their home states in search for better future in bigger cities where they tend to get ostracized. We finally had a president that worked for a more equitable distribution of wealth in the Brazilian society.
Dilma history is not to be dismissed. She fought the Military dictatorship rule and suffered the consequences of it. Unlike very prominent artists and intellectuals who expelled from the country, she got the worse side of the deal and was tortured. She didn't got the worst side which would be murdered and never found. Although people may disagree with her or with her election as president, my view as her history shows that having the space and the the freedom to do so is a good thing and quite recent in Brazilian history.
Mainly, her win means we finally elected a female president. The first time in history. This is such a powerful message to little girls all over Brazil. It means when they aim to be wherever they want to be, there is an actual basis for that. The mere symbolic aspect of this win is already groundbreaking. She will not only be a leader for us, she will be one of the strongest leaderships of the world and that's a lot of responsibility.
What do we expect from her? Having a strong female leadership breaks grounds but is not enough. I hope she increases support to end gender based violence, I hope she enforce Lei Maria da Penha against Domestic Violence, I hope she gives women the right to choose or at least don't make them carry anencephalic babies to full term (call me crazy but I find that pointless and cruel) and I truly hope that she would be a good leader in general not only for her and her party, but for women candidates as a whole. Gender can not be a barrier and the last thing we need is a example against female leadership.
Being honest, she wasn't my first choice. I would much rather have Marina as my president these next four years. However, I respect the results of the election and wish Dilma can make a good term, not only for her, her party and our nation, but for female leaders in general.