HuffPost Her Stories: Why It Matters That Brazil's President Sided With A Soccer Star Accused Of Rape

Plus: Meet the transgender environmentalist our planet needs.

Dear reader,

When Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro came out in support of Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior — the national soccer star accused of raping a model in Paris last month — women’s rights activists braced themselves for the fallout.

The president’s comment on the ongoing case has sent shockwaves across Brazil, a country where experts say reporting rates for sexual crimes are lower than they should be. Now, many fear victims will be even less likely to report.

In 2016, 49,497 cases of rape were reported across the country, according to Brazil’s 11th annual Report on Public Safety. But the true figures are believed to be much higher — somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 cases, according to a report by the Institute for Applied Economic Research and the Brazilian Public Safety Forum.

“Bolsonaro should be leading the action to fight this trend,” said Marcello Fernandes, who covered the story for HuffPost Brazil. “Instead, he is contributing to the spread of rape culture.”

HuffPost Her Stories has already reported on the significant barriers to social progression women are facing in Brazil under Bolsonaro’s leadership, and we will continue to follow the Neymar case.

Rebecca Zamon, the audience development manager of HuffPost Canada, will be taking the Her Stories reins next week. She’s passionate about understanding why people care about the stories they do and is excited to elevate diverse, women-focussed stories from around the world that might otherwise get overlooked.

We hope you’ll enjoy the view from Canada. As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time in London,


Welcome Rebecca to HuffPost Her Stories! You can follow her on Twitter @RebZam

Precious Brady-Davis is perhaps the most visible transgender woman of color in the climate movement today. An LGBTQ activist and former drag performer, Brady-Davis is part of a generation of environmentalists who feel they can’t stay silent as climate change exacerbates society’s worst inequalities. “Whether it’s a woman’s right to choose, a trans woman’s right to walk down the street without being murdered, or protecting clean water and air from pollutants, it’s all public health issues,” she told Alexander C. Kaufman, who profiled Brady-Davis as part of HuffPost’s Pride coverage, shining a light on the LGBTQ change-makers of the future – and there’s no doubt Brady-Davis will continue to make waves. Watch this space.

Men are holding women back in professional soccer, according to academics Adam Vanzella-Yang, Tobias Finger and Gerry Veenstra. In this hard-hitting commentary piece from HuffPost Canada, they argue it’s time we scrutinized the World Cup more closely. Where’s the media coverage of the women’s competition, which kicked off this past week? Where’s the prematch buildup? And why is it only the female championship that has the denominating “Women’s” in the official title name? “Recognizing the excellence of pro women’s soccer can spur progress at all levels of the game,” they write. And we’re here for it.

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