SAO PAULO – Fernando Haddad, the Worker’s Party candidate for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, said on Tuesday that companies should create conditions to boost gender equality among their workforce and called for awarding a seal of approval to those firms which promote women.
The former mayor of Sao Paulo, who is in second place according to pre-election surveys, has narrowed the lead of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro during the last week, although the latter was still polling at 28 percent compared to Haddad’s 22 percent.
“We have to create conditions for the companies to promote women in their organizations. And there are initiatives in the world which give these companies a seal of approval to encourage them to respect and promote women in their workforce,” Haddad said at a campaign meeting in Sao Paulo.
“We will take inspiration from these international experiences and try and adopt our legislation for this objective. A seal of approval with specific targets, with public power spurring on the companies,” he said.
After the meeting, also attended by his running mate Manuela D’Avila, Haddad said that his leftwing Workers’ party had a historical commitment to democracy.
“Whenever necessary, we will rise up to ensure the safety of the democratic institutions which we helped to build,” Haddad told journalists when asked about a possible alliance with centrist parties in case elections go to a run-off.
Bolsonaro remains in hospital after being stabbed during a campaign meeting on Sept. 6, and has been forced to campaign through social media until the elections, set to be held on Oct. 7.
Center-left candidate Ciro Gomes of the Democratic Labor Party, third in the polls with 11 percent support, finished campaigning in Rio de Janeiro and travelled to Sao Paulo on Tuesday, where he had to undergo an emergency prostate procedure.
Social-democrat Geraldo Alckmin and environmentalist Marina Silva, polling at 8 and 5 percent respectively, also campaigned in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.