Analysis of Elas in Congress showed that bills dealing with the issue of abortion or sexual violence grew by 77% and 56% between 2019 and 2020, and most PLs are unfavorable
It was August 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when the case of a 10-year-old child who became pregnant after being raped by an uncle in Espírito Santo won the Brazilian news. The state court of law granted her the right provided by law to terminate her pregnancy as a result of rape, but the reactions came all sides, including Congress. The number of bills dealing with the issue of abortion or sexual violence in the Chamber and in the Senate increased by 77% and 56%, respectively, between 2019 and 2020, according to a survey by Elas in Congress, the legislative monitoring platform of Revista AzMina.
But the reaction of deputies and senators has been negative for women and girls: most projects are unfavorable. And, with the new configuration of the Congress, the setbacks may come to pass more easily.
The bills created in reaction to the case of Espírito Santo, as well as others of national repercussion, illustrate the scenario of the National Congress in the last two years, the first half of the legislature that started with the 2018 general elections: it was never talked about both on important topics such as the different types of violence against women and sexual and reproductive rights. The problem is that these projects reflect their authors: the most conservative Congress for at least three decades.
Elas at the Congress analyzed together with 17 organizations that work with women's rights 649 bills on gender that were created in 2019 and 2020 in the Brazilian legislature.
We found that 1 in 4 projects is against the rights of women. In addition to projects that try to restrict rights, as in the case of legal abortion, or that distort important legislation to combat violence against women, such as the Maria da Penha Law, most of the negative projects focus exclusively on punishing the perpetrator of violence in different situations. These are measures that would effectively increase incarceration in the country and, according to the organizations consulted, would not resolve the structural issues of problems involving gender in the country.