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According to the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), there was a big jump in the number of households headed by women in Brazil. In 1995, it was 25% and, in 2018, it reached 45%. However, in any global crisis, hunger proves to have a “face” and a “gender”. According to the Report "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World", carried out by the United Nations (UN), in 2021, 31.9% of women in the world lived in moderate or severe food insecurity, against 27, 6% of men.

In line with our purpose of creating a better future, together, through the Vale Foundation, we support income generation projects for these women in Brazil. Some of these initiatives were highlighted by the Executive Vice President of Sustainability, Malu Paiva during the event Science Summit at United Nations General Assembly, in Portuguese “Cúpula de Ciência na Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas”, promoted by the UN, on 9/23.

During the panel “Building social initiatives to strengthen collaborative networks for the development of vulnerable communities (Women)”, the VP presented the Máscara + Renda projects and the Rede Mulheres do Maranhão, which also contribute to some of the UN  Sustainable Development Goals, on how to eradicate poverty.

Swipe to the side and get to know details of each one of them:

The Máscara+Renda initiative, created in 2020, consisted of mapping seamstresses from all over Brazil who lost their monthly income during the pandemic, to offer them new opportunities.

The selected seamstresses received the raw material and a payment for masks produced per day, guaranteeing the receipt of a monthly income of three to five months. After this period, they were invited to an entrepreneurial training journey at Escola de Negócios das Artesãs.

In order to continue the work, through Vale Foundation, we supported the creation of Rede+Renda. The artisans and seamstresses with greater engagement in their businesses and in the learning journeys were invited to stay on the Rede Asta platform and deepen their knowledge about entrepreneurship, participate in an entrepreneurial network, receive mentorships in product design, market access, live sales and creation of virtual storefronts.

At the end of the training, they continued with the support of the team of experts to learn and sell their products on large sales sites in the digital market, such as Pertinho de Casa, for instance.

Rede Mulheres do Maranhão (RMM) is formed by more than 200 entrepreneurs and babassu coconut breakers, whose source of income is collective work.

The businesses operate in different sectors, ranging from the manufacture of sweets, honey, clothing manufacturing, processing and breaking of babassu coconut, cashew nuts, bakery, and growing vegetables.

Do you want to see this work up close? Learn more and discover a recipe created by them on new episode of Receitas da Floresta.

Partnerships that change the world

At the event, Malu took the opportunity to reinforce the importance of working together between the community, companies and government to create a better future together.

And to talk about the relationship between the companies and the initiatives we support, the following participated in the panel: Alice Freitas, CEO of Rede Astra; Cristina Gil, Executive Director of Sustainability at Suzano; Monica Espadaro, Community Projects Manager at Alcoa; Patrick Drouin – Senior Vice President of Sustainability and IR at Wheaton Precious Metals.

Alice Freitas highlighted that “when you invest in a woman, you invest in a family”, which increases even more the relevance of each of these works and why we establish ties with them.

Our support comes through the Vale Foundation, which contributes to the promotion of structuring social transformations in the territories in which we operate. Currently, the Foundation is present in Espírito Santo, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Pará and Rio de Janeiro. Visit the website and learn more.