President Lula Ousts Third Woman from Top Government Role

The President removes head of state-owned bank Caixa Econômica to make room for allies; Ministers of Tourism and Sports were also dismissed earlier this year


The dismissal of Rita Serrano from the presidency of Caixa Econômica Federal this Wednesday (25) brings the total number of women removed from high-ranking positions to three since the beginning of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's government (PT). Serrano's departure coincides with the day the federal government launched the initiative Brazil without Misogyny, in an event attended by ministers and the First Lady Rosângela Lula da Silva, also known as Janja.

BRASÍLIA, DF, 13.07.2023 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with Rita Serrano, in Brasilia (Foto: Gabriela Biló /Folhapress) - Folhapress

Janja and the female ministers were questioned about the decrease in the number of women in the government due to Serrano's dismissal, but they remained silent. The Lula government announced on Wednesday afternoon the removal of Serrano from the presidency of Caixa. Although not a ministry, leading state-owned banks holds a similar status in terms of power, especially considering their reach. Serrano will be replaced by economist Carlos Antônio Vieira Fernandes, an ally of the President of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL). Lula is replacing an ally to make room for appointments from the centrist parties.

Serrano is the third woman to be dismissed in less than a year after the government boasted about having the most female ministers in history on the Esplanade. Besides her, Daniela Carneiro (former Minister of Tourism) and Ana Moser (former Minister of Sports) also left their positions. The women vacated their positions in the government amid the centrists' offensive for more space.

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