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Year: 2010 Type: Article Language: English

In this article, I examine the case of Brazil which, unlike many other Latin American countries, is an example of where quotas are not working. Drawing on over ten years of research and exploring the dynamics of a varied group of political parties, I contest that male resistance is not the only reason behind this failure. Vagueness around the quota law and a lack of sanctions, together with the elitist nature of politics in Brazil are all contributing factors. My research has also revealed a few anomalies, showing that contrary to much of the literature, women would seem to fare better in elections within less developed and smaller states in Brazil. In conclusion, I propose that in order to move forward and get quotas, working reform measures are needed to strengthen the law, but in addition, women's access to financial support for campaigning needs to be fully understood.