We are a non-profit and non-partisan
organization working to ensure the rights
of girls and women in Brazil. We design,
implement, and promote human-centred
solutions to ensure sexual and reproductive
health rights, and tackle intimate partner
violence and sexual violence.
Serenas was founded in 2021, but our story begins six years earlier, with the encounter of two young women, who were then undergraduate students of Public Administration and are now co-founders of the organization.
Their multiple experiences combine different fields of action within gender issues: from monitoring public policies and academic research to conducting education projects for young people, public agents, educational institutions, and private entities.
In 2021, they decide to bring other women together to scale the impact of their individual work. Thus, Serenas was born.
Discover the experiences behind
the creation of Serenas:
Up to 2018
- Conducted workshops and courses on gender issues with young people, public and private agents.
- Carried out academic research related to gender inequalities and the rights of children and adolescents.
- Development and implementation of Project Tá Na Hora, by Instituto Liberta
Workshops on child sexual exploitation for 300 public school students, reaching more than 12,000 people.
- Masters at Oxford and Hertie School: comprehensive sexuality education and violence prevention; inequalities and teenage pregnancy.
- Consultancy at Malala Fund: diagnosis of the impact of comprehensive sexuality education on keeping girls in schools around the world.
- Consultancy at UNICEF Brazil: development of the SABE App for children and teenagers to report violence in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights.
Serenas is founded.
We are guided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our work is driven by the UN goal of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls by 2030.
Why we exist
Brazilian women are among those who suffer the most from domestic violence worldwide.
We are the 5th country in the femicide ranking.
Every 7 hours, a woman became a victim of feminicide in 2020. 62% were black.
were up to 13 years old 1 (the majority were girls)
1. Anuário Brasileiro de Segurança Pública (2021)
2. UNFPA (2021)
3. Espro e Inciclo (2021)
The statistics are frightening, but they do not show the reality: the collection and availability of data to measure the real size of the rights’ violations against girls and women is still very incipient in the country. In other words, the problem is worse than the numbers indicate and the attempts to solve the issues are not effective.
Our research and practical day-to-day experiences working with children, adolescents, women, and public agents points out some paths to guarantee the rights of girls and women.
Therefore, we work on five innovative missions:
1 Interrupting cycles of intimate partner violence and sexual violence
What is the challenge?
We fail every day to protect girls and women from violence and discrimination. Brazilian women are among those who suffer the most from intimate partner violence around the world, especially black women. We also face extremely high rates of sexual abuse and exploitation. Evidence proves that the majority of victims of sexual violence in the country are black girls, under 13 years old.
Our mission is to reduce the levels of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in Brazil, through an intersectional approach.
2 Elimination of institutional violence against victims of gender-based violence
What is the challenge?
Beyond the suffering endured through everyday sexism, girls and women are subjected to several types of violence when they seek help from public services: they are questioned or blamed for what happened, they have their requests for incident reports denied, they are forced to explain what happened several times, reinforcing trauma… This is what we call institutional violence, which is practiced by State agents who should be responsible for guaranteeing fundamental rights and human dignity.
Our mission is to reduce levels of institutional violence against victims of gender-based violence in Brazil.
3 Universal access to sexual and reproductive rights and health for girls and women
What is the challenge?
The right to make decisions about one’s own body in reproductive and sexual terms are human rights that must be guaranteed to everyone. To have sexual and reproductive health, people need access to health, education, and family planning assistance. They must have access to safe contraceptives, information about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), adequate pregnancy, understanding of the human body, without any kind of violence, coercion or discrimination. However, there basic rights are denied to thousands of women in Brazil and around the world who often do not have the necessary tools to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancies, STDs, and gender-based violence.
Our mission is to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all girls and women in Brazil.
4 Comprehensive sexuality education for adolescents and young people
What is the challenge?
Studies show that comprehensive sexuality education policies are effective in reducing teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence (UNESCO, 2021).4
We believe in a school curriculum that includes the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social aspects of sexuality, giving girls and boys autonomy, as well as tools to protect themselves from possible sexual violence. The goal should be to empower children and adolescents based on knowledge, skills, and values to guarantee their health, dignity, and rights.
Our mission is to demystify and guarantee sexuality education for all adolescents and young people in Brazil.
5 Visibility and priority for girls and women in official statistics
What is the challenge?
The systematization of data is important for the construction and implementation of effective public policies, especially continuous data that allow the comparison of different periods. When girls and women are invisible in official statistics, their needs are also disregarded in policymaking. Currently, the Brazilian government already collects data on the situation of girls and women in Brazil, but it is still not enough.
In addition to disaggregating data by sex, they need to reflect the reality of gender inequality, including issues and problems related to all aspects of girls’ and women’s lives. There is still bias as to what data is collected and how it is used. Therefore, women should also be part of decision-making on different methodologies for data collection, taking into account the diversity of the population and social and cultural factors that can generate data bias.
Our mission is to prioritize girls and women in the collection and dissemination of official statistics in Brazil.
Co-founder and Executive Director
Amanda Sadalla holds a Master in Public Policy from Oxford University (Oxford/UK) and a bachelor degree in Public Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (São Paulo/Brazil). She is a Chevening Fellow (UK Embassy) and a member of the Lemann Foundation Leaders Network. She also works as a consultant at UNICEF Brazil. Amanda has experience in researching, consulting, and development of training courses for public agents and young people for preventing and fighting violence against women and girls and guaranteeing the rights of children and teenagers in Brazil. She worked for prestigious Brazilian and internacional organisations such as Liberta, Institute, Malala Fund, Lemann Foundation, and Tellus Institute.
Co-founder and Director of Operations
Stefania has a Master of Public Policy with a focus on data analysis from the Hertie School in Berlin and a B.A. in Public Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Her areas of expertise are girls’ and women’s rights, sexual and reproductive health, education, data analysis and evidence-based policy making. She worked as a research assistant at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, and has worked with research institutes, NGOs, government and schools.
Isabella holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas, focused in sustainability. She worked as a researcher at the Center for Sustainability Studies at FGV EAESP and gained experience in research and facilitation of collaborative and dialogic processes. In the communication area, she has been working especially in photographic and audiovisual content for projects related to the defense of human rights and sustainability. With the independent work “Mãe do Mangue”, she was awarded at the 8th Ecofalante Environmental Film Festival.
Bruna is post-graduated in legal psychology from Instituto Sedes Sapientiae and graduated in psychology from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie. She works with the children, adolescents and women rights since she graduated, specifically in fight against violence and public policies strengthening in order to guarantee rights. She also provides services to the São Paulo Court of Justice, performing expertise in cases of gender violence.