In Brazil: At the cry of “No, not him!”, Dozens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Brazilian women demonstrated Saturday against the extreme right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.
The biggest events took place in the metropolises of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia. A total of 62 cities, according to the G1 news website, saw women taking to the streets, eight days away from the first round of which Mr Bolsonaro is the favorite.
While the parades dispersed uneventfully in the evening, the organizers estimated that 500,000 people had participated in the social media movement, while the military police said it would not provide any numbers.
Large squares in the center of Rio or Sao Paulo have been invaded by a human tide.
“Here, there are white, black, homosexual people, fathers and mothers, with a great diversity, and this type of candidate, this type of policy does not represent the Brazilian culture in its great diversity.” declared a protester.
Tens of thousands of people were also gathered on the Largo da Batata esplanade in Sao Paulo.
“Someone who defends violence, racism or depreciates women can not be president of Brazil,” judge Cristina, 56, presents with her husband at the rally organized in the economic capital of Brazil.
Major mobilization in Brazil and abroad
The women’s offensive, launched in early September with a group on Facebook called “Women United against Bolsonaro”, has translated into action after a massive mobilization on social networks in Brazil and abroad.
“In the recent history of the South American country, there is no trace of such an important mobilization related to women,” said Ligia Fabris Campos, Professor of Law at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.
Demonstrations were also organized by women’s collectives Saturday in various countries of America and Europe.
Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old deputy, is heading ahead of the voting intentions of the first round of presidential elections on 7 October. He left Saturday morning from the hospital where he was admitted in early September, after being stabbed during a walkabout.
The candidate was the source of a new controversy: he threatened Friday night not to recognize the outcome of the election if he was not elected.
“From what I see in the street, I will not accept an election result that is different from my election,” he told the Bandeirantes channel.
“A candidate who makes a statement like this makes it clear to the country that he intends to wage a coup against our democracy,” said left-wing candidate Ciro Gomes, third in the polls of the 1st tower.
Racist, homophobic and sexist statements
Mr. Bolsonaro often made headlines with misogynistic, homophobic and racist protests.
For example, the former army captain told a member of parliament that she “did not deserve” to rape her or deplore the length of maternity leave.
Other women have also mobilized to support Bolsonaro, during counter-demonstrations Saturday in 27 cities, according to G1.
In Copacabana, Rio, more than a thousand people gathered, many wearing yellow and green jerseys with the inscription “My party is Brazil”.
Some women, all smiles, were being photographed near Bolsonaro posters pretending to hold a firearm, a customary gesture of their candidate.
Jair Bolsonaro “has a lot of support, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Thayane Montero, a 26-year-old civil engineering student, who is present with her family.
The former soldier “will put an end to corruption, he is a patriot, he defends the traditional family,” she adds.
Women represent 52% of the Brazilian electorate, and many of them remain undecided. But the candidate Bolsonaro arouses strong hostility among voters: about 50% of them say they would never vote for him.