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Dilma Rousseff: A Strong Record of Social Achievement

  • Mother of four, Maria Nilza, 36, shows her

    Mother of four, Maria Nilza, 36, shows her "Bolsa Familia" social plan card. | Photo: Vanderlei Almeida/AFP

Published 30 December 2014

Social inclusion was a focus of Rousseff's first term in government, including programs for social investment, housing schemes, higher levels of employment and greater access to education. 

Below we look at some of the key achievements of Dilma Rousseff's first period of government from 2010-2014.

Higher Employment Levels

More than 5.4 million new jobs were created during Rousseff's first government between January, 2011, and May, 2014. Adding the jobs created during the first Workers' Party government under Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, more than 20.8 million jobs were created by the Workers' Party in recent years. That compares to the five million jobs created by former Brazilian President Cardoso in eight years.

The minimum wage has been fixed at 724 reals (about US$266 dollars): The highest since 1979. Between 2008 and 2012 unemployment rate was reduced by 30 percent.

Increased Social Investment

Brazil's economy is now one of the world's largest. Exports have quadrupled, reducing public debt and increasing the international reserves. Brazil's sustainable development is based on low inflation and an increase in investment.

These successful economic policies have been focused on social sectors. Plans such as “Bolsa Familia”, which Lula da Silva started, give financial aid to poor families in Brazil. In order to receive that aid, parents have to make sure that their children attend school because the program also guarantees free access to education.

“Bolsa Familia” represents 2.5 per cent of all public expenditure in Brazil. The program benefits more than 11.2 million families, which represents about 44 million Brazilians.

My House, My Life

My House, My Life is a housing social program supported by the Brazilian Government in 2009. The project benefits those families with an income below 5,000 reals monthly (2,270 dollars). The idea was both to reduce the housing deficit and fight against the effects of the world's financial crisis of 2008. It created more than 1.3 million jobs and more than 80,000 new companies have opened.

New Development Bank

In July 2014, Brazil hosted the historical Sixth New Development Bank summit with BRICS members, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The new bank will direct its resources mainly to the infrastructure of its members. BRICS will not demand any requirement such as those of International Monetary Fund or World Bank; those requirements go against welfare and sovereignty of nations.

For more on Dilma Rousseff’s successes as president, see the teleSUR agenda piece

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