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Female scientists in Brazil face an uncertain future under the government of declared misogynist Jair Bolsonaro. They are concerned, for example, that women will no longer be appointed as rectors in federal universities under the latest government plans (see go.nature.com/2xthw4s). Women currently occupy about 30% of these positions, which compares favourably with a figure of 17% for the world’s top 200 universities (see go.nature.com/2xsevrr).