The Gender International supports our Brazilian colleague Jacqueline Pitanguy attacked by Minister Damares Alves.
Sociologist Jacqueline Pitanguy, a feminist who was president of the National Council of Women’s Rights (CNDM) during the Constitutional assembly that drafted Brazil’s current Constitution, has voiced her concern over the regression of women’s rights under President Jair Bolsonaro. In particular, it is for religious reasons that Damares Alves, the Minister of Woman, Family, and Human Rights has expressed her opposition to abortion under any circumstances. Pitanguy protested in a September 20 interview: “It is very troublesome to treat a religious belief as public policy. We live in a secular country. This goes against the fundamental democratic principle of pluralism. I am very worried to see that the actions of the head of a public institution in charge of women’s rights are based upon her own religious beliefs.”
In reaction, on December 3, Minister Damares Alves has accused her on social media of defending “the death of babies” : “Pitanguy defends death; I defend life.”
Our international network of academics mobilized for gender studies under attack expresses full solidarity with our colleague Jacqueline Pitanguy. The vicious campaign that targets this feminist sociologist only confirms that women’s rights are an essential dimension of democratic secularism.
The Gender International