I don’t have particularly strong opinions about Brazil’s new president, Michel Temer. The scandal accruing around the Rouseff administration certainly merited impeachment, even if the specific charge appears a bit overblown. And while I would be very hesitant to blame her for the recession, her economic management has been poor. This blog, in particular, has excoriated her energy policy, which devastated biofuels while wrecking Petrobras’s finances in order to subsidize gasoline.
But I want to say one thing about the new president. He has appointed no women to his cabinet. There are country’s and time-periods where that might be understandable, but in Brazil in 2016 you have to work to do that.
Some background. In Brazil in 2004, twelve years ago, women made up 46% of all lawyers, 41% of all doctors, 34% of all judges (18% of high court judges) and 14% of all engineers. Of major CEOs, women ran 19% of all utilities, 15% of all financial and insurance firms, 12% of all manufacturing companies, and 10% of all construction operations. They were less represented on boards (and made up only 16% of highly paid CEOs) but the numbers were not inconsiderable.
In other words: while the position of women in the Brazilian labor market is far from perfect (and worse than in most North Atlantic countries) there are enough high-powered women so that you need to go out of your way not to appoint any to cabinet-level positions.
Feel free to judge Michel Temer accordingly. Not that the rest of his cabinet would lead you to do otherwise.