Damares Alves, the Jair Bolsonaro government's Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, spent just 53% of the budget foreseen for her department. On social media, the minister announced that the ministry utilized 98% of the 2020 budget.
Lola Ferreira, responsible for the survey and coordinator of the Gender and Numbers NGO, points out that Damares did not give out the correct information. In fact, the ministry used 98%, or R $ 617 million, of the R $ 673 million total budget.
According to a survey carried out by Gender and Number, using data from the federal government's Transparency Portal, the ministry used only R $ 333 million of the R $ 617 million allotted to it last year.
The declared amount was not necessarily used to pay for services and suppliers. Thus, the sum actually invested by Damares Alves in the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights drops to 53%.
“The most important thing that this survey unmasks is the urgency to look at public budget disclosures carefully. No matter what a ministry says it spent, when we look into it, we realize that it was not quite like that ", explains Ferreira.
Of the R $ 333 million used by the minister, R $ 160 million, or 48%, was utilized in efforts to protect the elderly. Throughout 2020, Damares invested only R $ 42 million in public policies for women. The amount pledged was R $ 106 million.
"Opening up this data has the function of making us question why this amount was not effectively spent and why the ministry has this characteristic of committing to a lot and spending little," explains Lola Ferreira. The Gender and Number coordinator regrets that low investments were made in 2020, while the country faced a pandemic, "affecting vulnerable populations" and widening "social inequalities".
Also, according to the survey, the minister did not invest in public policies for the LGBT population, even with R $ 800 thousand committed to such measures. For Ferreira, there is a moral background behinds this refusal.
“Damares has never hidden from anyone what she thinks and how she guides herself, nor the faith she manifests. She always claimed to get along with the LGBT community, claimed not to be prejudiced, but the data shows something else, that in her ministry, which has a budget – although a small one, to serve the [LGBT] population, they are not a priority ", says Ferreira.
"As much as it is said that there is no prejudice, it is with the implementation of public policies that we see real care, but this did not happen in 2020”, she points out.
The other side
Brasil de Fato approached the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights and questioned the reasons behind the low investment, in relation to the amount committed to the agency. The report also questioned Damares Alves' reasons for not releasing public policy resources that aid women and the LGBT population. Until the publishing of this article, Brasi de Fato received no response.
Edited by: Leandro Melito