|PARTNER: Cunhã Coletivo Feminista|
Founded in 1990 in João Pessoa, the capital of the poor, northeastern state of Paraiba, Cunhã Feminist Collective
(Cunhã Coletivo Feminista—Cunhã) advocates for improvements in family
planning services and programs to prevent maternal mortality, violence
against women and HIV/AIDS.
In Paraiba, most people rely on the public health system for health care, but the system is under-funded, and provides inadequate sexual and reproductive health services. As a result, maternal mortality rates in Paraiba are disproportionately high. As a leading organization working to prevent maternal mortality, Cunhã promotes and monitors public policies that address death and injury during childbirth, and conducts media and public education campaigns to raise public awareness of maternal mortality and reproductive rights and health in general. Cunhã also works to secure access to appropriate care and services for sexual and domestic violence survivors, including health care services and access to safe abortion as the law permits.
Cunhã has taken a leadership role in the national movement by coordinating the Brazilian Initiative for the Right to Legal and Safe Abortion (Jornadas Brasileiras pelo Direito ao Aborto Legal e Seguro) until May 2007 and has taken a lead role in the September 28th Campaign, a regional initiative to decriminalize abortion throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
We are delighted to announce that Maria Lucia Lopes de Oliveira, of Cunhã Coletivo Feminista, is the winner of the 2009 Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life. The prize is awarded annually to honor “creative and courageous women and women’s groups around the world for their contribution in improving the quality of life in rural communities, for protecting the environment, transmitting knowledge and standing up for human rights and peace.”