“We are thrilled to give these awards to three amazing women,” said Brown at the São Paulo event, marking the first-ever international edition of the summit.
One of the recipients, Raquel Barros da Silva, is a groundbreaking psychologist and the creator of a nonprofit called Lua Nova in Brazil. The group provides housing, food, psychological care, and education for women at risk, focusing on strengthening relationships between mother and child. More than 3,500 people have benefited since its founding in 2000.
Another recipient, Maria da Penha Maia Fernandes, is an anti-domestic-violence advocate who suffered from abuse at the hands of her husband so brutal that it left her a paraplegic for life. Her case languished in court for two decades in her native Brazil, until the government enacted a landmark 2006 law called the Maria da Penha Law on Domestic and Family Violence. On the fifth anniversary of the law in August 2011, the National Council of Justice of Brazil released data showing solid progress: more than 331,000 prosecutions since the law was passed.
“It took her 20 years, but you didn’t keep quiet, and you have changed the lives of many women in Brazil,” said Brown in presenting the award.
The final recipient, Dona Anna Marcondes Faria, is a community activist in her favela in Rio de Janeiro, working on a grassroots level to improve child care and education for families. Her Community Center of Saint Lidia offers classes on women’s health, including sex education, and access to public-health workers who can assist the disabled, among many other programs that help transform the community.
The Women of Impact Award celebrates women who work on the ground to advance the rights of women and girls. To learn more, visit the Women in the World Foundation.