Dilma Rousseff, a former guerrilla and political prisoner, leads polls at around 50 percent and is pushing to win the first round Sunday outright and avoid a runoff, The Guardian reported Friday.
Rousseff, candidate of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's Worker's Party, is facing Social Democrat Jose Serra and rainforest defender Marina Silva of the Green Party, who is polling around 14 percent.
"Women are ready to govern Brazil and, more importantly, Brazil is ready to be governed by a woman," Rousseff said in a recent interview, adding that women were "sensible, practical and sensitive."
"These are important qualities for someone who wants to govern a country."
Fatima Pacheco Jordao, a Brazilian sociologist, said it was "absolutely unprecedented" to have two competitive female candidates running for the presidency. "I think it brings us a great potential for change," she said, adding that voters saw in a female candidate the possibility of "new values and new ways of doing politics."