In the spring of 2016, Global Fund for Women and 15 adventurous women traveled to Brazil during a time of tremendous economic, political, and social distress in the country. With the Summer Olympic games on the horizon, the threat of a presidential impeachment, the Zika virus, and the worst economic recession in three decades, many travelers steered clear. But the group of supporters came together at an important moment for those working on women’s human rights in Brazil and throughout the region.
As we heard from our Brazilian board member, Jurema Werneck, “Brazilian feminist activists are coming together at an important time in my country’s history to make democracy possible and overcome the backlash they are facing, including racism, sexism, and homophobia. They are committed to a better place for their families and themselves, and we must be strong with them as one family now. Your solidarity matters.”
Global Fund for Women has supported over 120 women’s organizations in Brazil since 1988 with almost $3.5 million in grants. Our trip was a mix of visits with some of Global Fund for Women’s and ELAS’s (the Brazilian Women’s Fund) most compelling grantee partners in São Paulo and Rio, as well as with incredible grantee partners who traveled from Recife in northern Brazil to discuss reproductive rights. These activities combined with opportunities to explore Brazil’s rich culture and heritage.
With all they experienced, our travelers were moved to invest over $75,000 in additional contributions for our work in Brazil this year.