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Brazil - According to Brazil’s ‘Minister of Human Rights, Family and Women,’ Damares Alves, promoting gender equality isn’t a good idea because it could lead to an increase of violence against women. Maybe someone would ask how that’s possible but Damares Alves explained it during a speech on International Women’s Day:
Alves stated, “If they think that boys and girls are equal, as was preached in the past by some ideologies, boys will think since girls are equal they can handle being hit.” She has also emphasized the need to return to chivalry in the sense of boys “bringing flowers to girls” or “opening car doors for women.”
Alves, a conservative evangelical preacher, was the President Jair Bolsonaro’s choice as minister of women, family and human rights, and indigenous people.
The Independent reports that Alves, who holds conservative Christian views and strongly opposes the separation of Church and State in governance and lawmaking, has been quoted in one church service as
saying, “It is time for the church to tell the nation that we have come … It is time for the church to govern.”
Damares Alves doesn’t support separation of church and state and she believes in traditional heteronormative gender roles. In one interview last year Alves stated that women “are born to be mothers,” and “boys will wear blue and girls pink.”
During her Jan 2019 ceremonial swearing-in, Alves declared “The ideological indoctrination of children and teenagers in Brazil is over.” Alves is also the co-founder of “Atini-Voz Pela Vida” (Voice for Life), an organization that aims to stop practices of infanticide among some indigenous peoples. Part of the organization’s work includes preaching evangelical beliefs in these communities.
It isn’t strange at all that Bolsonaro chose Alves for that position because, since his election, Brazil’s president has abolished the country’s ministry of human rights, explicitly declared his homophobia, planned to censor school textbooks of feminist and LGBT content as well as endangered the rights of indigenous communities and their land. Also, homophobic hate crimes saw a 75 percent increase during the months leading to Bolsonaro’s win.
“We will unite people, value the family, respect religions and our Judeo-Christian tradition, combat gender ideology and rescue our values,” Bolsonaro said during his inauguration.
Maybe we all should teach our children not to hit anyone, regardless of whether it's a girl or a boy, or wears pink or blue.