Rio de Janeiro women vote for Rousseff

Rio de Janeiro women vote for Rousseff

Black and poor women may decide who will be the next president of Brazil

A group of women in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro is getting ready to vote on Friday for one of the candidates to take on incumbent President Dilma Rousseff.

“It’s the first time I’m voting. I hope I vote for a woman,” a 46-year-old woman named Maria told AFP.

“I feel I have to vote for her because she’s a fighter and she fights.”

In the run-up to the election in 2016, Rousseff stood on two fronts to win, both by making herself a symbol for the poor and also by being seen as a champion of women.

“I’m going to vote for her because she said she would always fight. I believe she will have a big support from the poor. And with her campaign we will get better infrastructure,” said Marlene, a 57-year-old retired schoolteacher.

“We will get more police and more firefighters.”

Some 50,000 people live in the city’s poor favelas, an area that includes shantytowns made up of shacks on the side of the road, with streets lined with shacks, with a view of the sea.

But one group’s views are not only those of the poor but are also not of the elite. Some of the women are members of the Brazilian Women’s Party (PTB), which is aligned with Rousseff’s Workers’ Party.

A group of people protesting against election result in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday, Oct. 5, 2013.

“People are coming to these shantytowns to protest against the election results just like we’re protesting against the government,” said Maria, a member of the PTB.

“They can’t vote for Rousseff. She isn’t qualified to be the president. I vote for Dilma because she’s a woman. But I won’t vote for Rousseff.”

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