Jacira Melo

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Jacira Melo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
The idea behind the Instituto Patrícia Galvão is to use the media as a tool to generate social, cultural, and political change in the area of gender prejudice. Jacira Melo incites criticism on how women are depicted in the media, and invites critique and proposals of change in order to reshape the society’s mentality and encourages public debate.
To interact with the media, Patricia Galvão has set up a Web portal Violence Towards Women Portal (Portal Violência Mulher)—where research papers, publications from several women’s institutes and organizations directed to journalists, researchers, university students, etc. are made available. The portal is accessed daily by the press and has become a benchmark in gender matters by creating ties and a permanent dialogue between media professionals, journalists, advertisement experts and researchers.
Jacira has been working both with political and social agents through major media campaigns and via public action against the socially abusive media. The institute illuminates some of Brazil’s most pressing gender issues, offers advice and information for women seeking to get involved in the movement, proposes major behavior changes, and stimulates preemptive actions that any member of the community can take. A wide network of partners—mainly women’s rights organizations—allows Jacira the collective power to have a broad scale and scope.
The Instituto Patrícia Galvão also uses the databases of renowned research centers to collect data on women’s aspirations and behavior, legitimize its actions, and mobilize public opinion. Moreover, it organizes local women’s groups inside the assisted communities to deliberate on and elucidate problems, and develop real action plans for strategic solutions.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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