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Between altruism and familism: women's parliamentary agenda and family-labor policies (Brazil, 2003-2013)


By surveying legislative iniciatives by congresswomen in Brazil in 2003-2013, this article investigates the nature of their political agenda in order to identify if and to what extent they focus on family-work conciliation policies. We found that in spite of the emphasis on traditional social welfare policies, family-work policies are scarce and, when they are advocated, that is done on the basis of familist arguments. The domain that covers the intersection between welfare policies and gender equity seems largely unexplored. We suggest that the miniscule presence of women in Congress may have contributed to this result, but we cannot discard traditional gender norms and an unawareness of the socially transformative potential of those policies by parties of the left and women's movements in the country as complementary explanations.

work-family conciliation policies; gender equity; social welfare; women politicians;Brazil

Universidade de Brasília. Instituto de Ciência Política Instituto de Ciência Política, Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro - Gleba A Asa Norte, 70904-970 Brasília - DF Brasil, Tel.: (55 61) 3107-0777 , Cel.: (55 61) 3107 0780 - Brasília - DF - Brazil