The implementation of the 1988 Constitution of Brazil underlined a fast-paced and multi-encompassing process of democratic state-building that sought to shift the balance of political power from a small elite to the people. Yet contrary to the pluralistic ambitions set forth in the constitution, the representative body thirty years on assumes a largely homogenous outward face that fails to reflect the diversity of the Brazilian population. In seeking to explore, analyse and elucidate the continued political marginalisation of women and afrodescendants in Brazil, this thesis utilises a sequential mixed-methods design consisting of (i) a qualitative analysis of interview materials collected in Rio de Janeiro over three weeks in January 2020 and (ii) a quantitative analysis of a self-constructed dataset covering electoral data from the 2018 Brazilian General Election and demographic data from the 2010 Population Census. Interpreting the analytical results through a theoretical framework that draws on theories of representative politics and intersectionality, the thesis illustrates how processes of inclusion and exclusion manifest themselves throughout the sociocultural and institutional landscapes in a manner that is non-conducive to ensuring descriptive representation. It concludes that the monetary cost of competing for representative office contributes to the maintenance of politics as an elite realm, and that marginalisation must consequently be addressed at both the socioeconomic and the institutional levels in order to adequately tackle the gendered and racialised nature of political exclusion in Brazil.