First lady says that President Lula gives her “complete autonomy” so she can do what she does

First Lady Janja Lula da Silva said she plays an articulating role in the government and that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) gives “total autonomy” so she can do what she does. She further stated that “hierarchy line does not exist” between her and her husband.

“My role is as an articulator, as someone who talks about public policies. We can [Lula e Janja] be in different spaces and talk to different audiences when necessary”, he stated. The speech was given to the BBC in a report published on Saturday (13.Feb.2024) about the functions performed by Latina first ladies.

In September 2023, while President Lula was undergoing osteoarthritis surgery, Janja he was to Rio Grande do Sul with ministers to monitor the situation in the state, which was hit by heavy rains at the time. The first lady’s performance divided opinions.

For some internet users, she would be occupying the role of vice president, leaving Geraldo Alckmin (PSB) in a decorative position.

In the interview, Janja also said that, since the 2022 presidential campaign, she has already intended to reshape the role of first lady and that she does not have the profile of “wife who organizes charity teas and visits philanthropic institutions”.

He further stated that the role is a matter of choice, of “break the box that first ladies are forced to stay in. It’s about not having a box. We can do whatever we want.”


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