About the Project
The Women and Girls Foundation has partnered with our sisters at ELAS Women’s Social Investment Fund in Rio de Janeiro on a project we call Madame Presidenta: Why Not U.S.? — Vamos Meninas! (which means Let’s Go Girls in Portuguese). Watch the trailer above to learn more about it!
In January 2013, Heather Arnet, WGF’s CEO traveled to Brazil to meet with the team at ELAS to explore the changing political and economic roles women are playing in Brazil’s global leadership. While in Brazil, Arnet investigated…How Brazil came to elect its first woman president, Dilma Rousseff, in 2010? What impact her presidency is having on global markets, women’s rights and opportunities? And what can American women and businesses learn from our Brazilian sisters and their passionate and successful surge towards economic prosperity and political leadership? Contact us to schedule a screening of the film in your community!
What made WGF & Heather want to do this?
Growing up, Heather Arnet’s grandmother, Vivian (now age 96), regaled her with stories of her great grandmother, Mary, the suffragette who marched the streets of New York for women to earn the right to vote. “You must vote in every election – large and small,” she’d say, “because other women fought and died for you to have that right.” Vivian’s secret dream – passed down from her mother – was to someday help elect the first woman president. In her lifetime, fifty women would run for President of the United States. None of them successfully.
Just two years, after Hillary Clinton put “18 million cracks” in the American Presidential glass ceiling, Dilma Rousseff was sworn in as the 36th President of Brazil. Now, as Brazil prepares to host the World Cup in 2014, the Olympics in 2016, and works to keep its growing economy on track, the eyes of the world are on this emerging world leader during her first term in office.
“I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say yes, women can.”
- President Dilma Rousseff, victory speech, October 31, 2010
Dilma Rousseff, former Marxist guerrilla, Minister of Energy, and Chief of Staff is leading Brazil during a time of unprecedented economic growth and transition. Brazil, a country that is both energy independent and rich in natural resources has recently overtaken the UK to become the world’s sixth-biggest economy. It is a country on the rise, led by women.
Inspired by her grandmother’s story, Arnet will travel to Brazil in 2013 to interview women from different regions and socio economic backgrounds asking them to share their stories of how in the span of a single generation, this dynamic and beautiful country, went from historic poverty to historic riches; from rape in the streets to a woman in the Presidential palace.