About Ana Alice Alcântara
Ana Alice Alcântara is a professor of political science and member of the Nucleus of Interdisciplinary Studies on Women (NEIM) at the Federal University of Bahia. She serves as vice-coordinator of the Research Programme Consortium on Women's Empowerment for Latin America, and director of the Research Network of Studies on women and gender relations in Northern and Northeastern Brazil.
Articles by Ana Alice Alcântara
In June 2007 - five years after it was first promised during the 2002 electoral campaign - political reform finally made it onto the Brazilian National Congress agenda. It was an opportunity for a corrupt Congress plagued by scandals to salvage its tarnished reputation by creating new criteria for representation, rethinking the role of the legislative branch, and establishing civil society-driven accountability mechanisms for both legislators and executives. After years of waiting, women were anticipating deep changes in the patriarchal rules and elitist power structures that had characterised the Brazilian state for decades. Instead, we watched as pacts and alliances among political cronies squelched the possibility of real reforms yet again, and powers were redistributed based on a convenient set of political friendships rather than a genuine commitment to increasing parity. The majority of women's demands did not even come close to the negotiation tables. This was more than a defeat for women: it was a defeat for all Brazilian citizens.