On August 4, 2021, Law No. 14,192 (Lei No. 14.192, de 4 de Agosto de 2021) was enacted in Brazil to establish norms to prevent, suppress, and combat political violence against women in spaces and activities related to the exercise of their political rights and public functions. The new law also aims to ensure the participation of women in electoral debates and provides for the crimes of disseminating information or videos containing untrue content during the electoral campaign period. (Law No. 14,192, art. 1.)
Law No. 14,192 further determines that the rights of women to political participation must be guaranteed and prohibits gender- or racially-based discrimination and inequality of treatment in one’s access to all levels of political representation and in the exercise of public functions. (Art. 2.) To this effect, the competent authorities must prioritize the immediate exercise of the violated right, giving special importance to the victim’s statements and the evidentiary elements. (Art. 2 (sole para.).)
The law defines political violence against women as “any action, conduct, or omission with the purpose of preventing, hindering, or restricting the political rights of women.” (Art. 3.) Likewise, acts of political violence against women constitute “any distinction, exclusion, or restriction in the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of their rights and fundamental political freedoms by virtue of their sex.” (Art. 3 (sole para.).)
Law No. 14,192 also amended the Electoral Code (Código Eleitoral, Lei No. 4.737, de 15 de Julho de 1965), the Political Parties Law (Lei dos Partidos Políticos, Lei No. 9.096, de 19 de Setembro de 1995), and the elections law (Lei No. 9.504, de 30 de Setembro de 1997) to reflect the efforts to combat political violence against women.
Article 4 of Law No. 14,192 provides for the following changes to the Electoral Code:
Articles 243 and 323 of the Electoral Code were amended, and article 326-B was added. Section X was added to article 243 to provide that advertising that detracts from the status of women or encourages their discrimination on the basis of their gender, or in relation to their color, race, or ethnicity, will not be tolerated.
Article 323 was amended to punish with two months to one year in prison and a fine whoever discloses, in electoral advertising or during the electoral campaign period, facts that the person knows are untrue in relation to political parties or candidates and are capable of exerting influence on the electorate. The same punishment applies to those who produce, offer, or sell videos with untrue content about political parties or candidates.
In addition, the punishment is increased by one-third and up to one-half if the crime is committed through the press, radio, television, the internet, or social networks; is broadcast in real time; or involves contempt or discrimination regarding the gender, color, race, or ethnicity of a woman.
Finally, article 326-B was added to the Code to punish with one to four years in prison and a fine anyone who harasses, embarrasses, humiliates, or threatens a candidate for elective office or the holder of an elective mandate, by any means, or employs contempt or discrimination regarding the gender, color, race, or ethnicity of a woman to prevent her from campaigning or hindering her election campaign, or performing her elective term. The punishment is increased by one-third if the crime is committed against a woman who is pregnant, is over 60 years of age, or has a disability.
Political Parties Law
Section X was added to article 15 of the Political Parties Law to provide that the statute of a political party must contain, among others, rules on preventing, suppressing, and combating political violence against women. (Art. 5.)
Section II of article 46 of the elections law establishes that now, in proportional elections, debates may take more than one day and must be organized in such a way as to ensure the presence of an equivalent number of candidates from all parties running for the same elective office and to respect the proportion of men and women established in the Elections Law. (Art. 6.)