Terezinha da Silva elected first female mayor in a southern city of a 93% white population

Black Brazilian women

Victory for a black candidate in a city of German colonization is considered a milestone in the city of Dois Irmãos. On the streets, the future mayor received hugs and kisses


At the age of 49, Tania Terezinha da Silva (of the PMDB party) enters the history books having been elected mayor of the city of Dois Irmãos (located in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul) with 9,450 votes. She is the first woman to take command as executive of the city; she was the first woman to chair the Board of Aldermen in 2010, and received the most votes for city councilor in 2008. When she assumes leadership of the city of 27,522 inhabitants on January 1st, she will have the support of vice-mayor Jerri Meneghetti (PP party).


In a city of German colonization with whites making up 93.3% of the population, and self-proclaimed blacks only 1.1%, Tania’s feat was no small accomplishment.

A third term councilor, one of them as a substitute, she was elected mayor with 51.67% of the vote, 610 votes more than her opponent.

During the path that led to the vote, Tania had many difficulties from the beginning of the campaign, especially from a lack of resources, but now she believes celebrates the shortage of funds. “For us to have very little resources, we focused on home visits and that was the difference in this campaign,” says Tania. Another issue raised by the candidate was breaking paradigms she considers fundamental; having been elected even as a divorced black woman is a great achievement. She considers herself an example to be followed and believes there is a place in the sun for everyone, for people willing to search for their place to shine. “I believe that many women should be proud to know that we are fighting back and getting things going. We should not hide behind prejudices,” she points out.

A native of Novo Hamburgo (also in Rio Grande do Sul), Tania graduated in 1981. Ten years later, she began working in Dois Irmãos. She placed first in the mayor’s public competition for  the title of nursing technical, a position she still holds today.

Health was the gateway

In 1994, she took up residence in the city. The following year, he joined the PMDB party and began her political career. In a period of 12 years, thanks to her work in the area of ​​Health, she was elected twice as councilor and one as alternate.

The future mayor is divorced and the mother of two children, Pablo, 24, a student of Biomedicine and Hohana, 20, a student of Nursing at Feevale University.

Stranger in the nest

When she arrived in the city in the 90s, Tania recalls that there were few black families. And even being a stranger in the nest, she said she and her children have never suffered prejudice.

“In the beginning, people looked at me kind of like (makes a gesture with her face that suggests mistrust), but never to the point of saying something or letting go somewhere. I often say that I walked through the front door,” she says.

In her leisure time, she enjoys listening to Brazilian Popular Music, dancing and playing volleyball. Vain as any woman, she spends eight hours in the beauty salon for hair care. And the election helped her stay in shape. During the campaign, she lost five pounds. Until now, the only loss celebrated in a life crowned with great achievements.

About Marques Travae 2897 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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