Tens of thousands of women took to the streets of Brazil’s capital Wednesday to denounce President Jair Bolsonaro, in the third anti-government protest in the city in two days.
The huge demonstration in Brasilia comes as Bolsonaro faces increasing heat over rampant deforestation in the Amazon rainforest as well as education funding cuts, which have sparked nationwide protests by students and professors in recent months, including one in the capital on Tuesday.
The “March of the Margaridas” is named after Brazilian trade union leader Margarida Maria Alves, who was murdered in 1983 during the military dictatorship.
Held every four years, the protest demands better rural living conditions and protection of women’s rights.
Many of the thousands of tribal women who marched on Tuesday in protest against Bolsonaro’s “genocidal policies” joined Wednesday’s demonstration, which also condemned Bolsonaro’s plan to open up indigenous territory to mining and the government’s policy to increase the use of pesticides and weed killers.
“We are living in difficult times with a government that attacks us continuously,” Juliana Joucoski, a 43-year-old teacher from the southern city of Curitiba, told AFP.
‘We are losing hard-won rights.’
Earlier, Brazilian protesters had taken to the streets in more than 80 cities, including in Rio de Janeiro, to protest against cuts to the public education budget and other measures by Bolsonaro’s government.
Union leaders called for a strike in the education sector, denouncing funding cuts from elementary schools to higher public education and plans to open federal universities to private investment. The government says it is implementing the cuts across the board and in an equal way.
The latest cuts of 348 million reals (about 87 million dollars) were imposed last month, targeting school textbooks. The education ministry had already announced a 30% cut to university funding and blocked all forthcoming scholarships for master’s and doctoral students.