Brazil is characterized by deep social and economic inequalities. Women make up the majority of Brazil’s poorest: they represent the majority of the unemployed, and even those Brazilian women who have jobs often suffer from disproportionately low salaries and few social protections. Women face similar inequalities in the political sphere. Brazilian women won the right to vote in 1934 but even though women currently make up 51 per cent of the electorate, they hold less than 10 per cent of elected seats, placing Brazil among the countries of the world with the lowest proportion of women in public office. This low rate of representation stands in contrast to the strength, reach, and political influence of Brazil’s feminist movement. Despite three decades of vibrant activism and evolving engagement with the state, increasing women’s political participation has remained elusive. A quota law, passed in 1997, has failed to have an impact.