December 11, 2012 | Culture and Media, Violence Against Women

A Spotlight on Heroines

The Foundation in Brazil

Tina Brown, right, with the Women of Impact honorees. (Gui Tichauer)

By Emily Brigstocke

Domestic violence, children raised in favelas, and sex trafficking—these are some of the issues that are top-of-mind in Brazil. But there are also bold women and innovative nonprofits working on these issues. The Women in the World Foundation shined a spotlight on those solutions at the first international Women in the World Summit in Sao Paulo on December 4.

During an inspiring Summit filled with international leaders for women’s advancement—like Diane von Furstenberg and Condoleezza Rice—as well as Brazilian achievers like Xuxa, a TV-personality/ philanthropist, and Major Pricilla de Oliveira Azevedo, a security specialist in Rio de Janeiro, some of the most moving stories came from three women who are changing lives at the grassroots level. Those three, honored with the Women in the World Foundation’s Women of Impact Awards, are:

Raquel Barros da Silva, who founded and is president of the New Moon Institute, an organization that works with at-risk mothers and pregnant women; Maria da Penha, a victim of brutal domestic violence that left her a paraplegic, prompted the Brazilian government to pass landmark legislation in her name to protect women and children from violence in the home; and Anna Marcondes Faria, a founder of the Community Center of St. Lidia, who has dedicated her life to advocating for residents of Brazil’s favelas. These women join previous honorees Dr. Hawa Abdi, Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, and Leymah Gbowee.

The Women in the World Foundation launched in 2011 in response to the success of the Women in the World Summits held in New York City at which Newsweek and The Daily Beast invite trailblazing women to convene each year to speak on issues affecting women and girls. The Foundation helps drive resources and support to organizations working to advance women and girls.

As part of the summit, the Women in the World Foundation also launched a Brazilian version of its interactive feature, Get on the Map! For Women and Girls. Get on the Map Brazil spotlights more than 100 local nonprofits.