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  • Brazil's women's minister previously vowed to spearhead a new era in which 

    Brazil's women's minister previously vowed to spearhead a new era in which "boys will wear blue and girls pink." | Photo: Reuters file

Published 9 March 2019

The minister - who is also an evangelical preacher - indicated that boys should be taught chivalry and that girls "are different physically and need to be loved." 

In an International Women’s Day address, Brazilian women’s minister Damares Alves remarked that teaching boys and girls that they are equal, in every way, encourages domestic violence.

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"Boys need to understand that girls are equal in terms of rights and opportunities, but are different as they're women and they need to be loved and respected as women,” Alves stated at a campaign reportedly launched to combat violence against women.

"If they think that boys and girls are equal, as was preached in the past by some 'ideologies,' boys will think 'since girls are equal they can handle being hit.'"

In the bizarre statement, the minister - who is also an evangelical preacher - indicated that boys should be taught chivalry and that girls "are different physically and need to be loved." 

Alves added that the new program will teach boys from a young age to respect women by "bringing flowers to girls" or "opening a car door for women."

The anti-domestic abuse campaign will also involve training beauty professionals to spot signs of domestic violence.

"We're going to train manicurists when they're doing a woman's nails to look for marks on her arms or if she's trembling a lot," Alves said. "We'll train the hairdressers so that when they lift the hair to brush it they check for marks."

In 2017, about 4,539 women were murdered in Brazil, 1,133 of which were categorized as femicide, according to the public security forum NGO. The organization noted that some 536 cases of physical assaults against women were recorded in Brazil, every hour, in 2017.

The minister is well known for making baffling comments as evidenced by a statement made, following her appointment, vowing to spearhead a new era in which "boys will wear blue and girls pink."

Alves - one of only two women among 22 ministers in the cabinet - was appointed by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to head the ministry for women, families and human rights.

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