Citizenship, Study, Research, Information, and Action

Citizenship, Study, Research, Information, and Action

Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informação e Ação (CEPIA)
Rio de Janeiro

CEPIA advances human rights for women and other historically marginalized groups in Brazil through research, campaigns, advocacy, training, and empowerment of women and youth.

Click Here to Access Resources for Brazilian Activists

Partner Focus Areas

Women's rights and human rights
Sexual and reproductive health
Access to justice and ending gender-based violence
Women and youth empowerment, training, and capacity building

Partnership Highlights

Partner since 2004
Leadership and human rights trainings
Family law reform research and advocacy
Outreach to Portuguese-speaking African women's organizations
Read more
WLP Brazil/Cepia 2012 workshop participant holding sign for political participation
A participant in a CEPIA workshop voices her demand for women's political participation.


Since its founding in 1990, CEPIA has been developing projects that promote gender equality, and human and women’s rights, especially among disenfranchised communities and youth. CEPIA conducts its national and regional outreach efforts in Portuguese, English, and Spanish. Current CEPIA initiatives are addressing youth empowerment, health and reproductive rights, ending gender-based violence, and ensuring equal access to legal justice.

Since CEPIA joined the WLP Partnership in 2014,it has served in a central advisory role, providing guidance on WLP programs and advocacy campaigns. CEPIA has conducted dozens of local and regional workshops using WLP’s methodology and curricula. CEPIA works primarily in Portuguese.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Served as amicus curiae to the Federal Supreme Court on initiatives to block and declare the unconstitutionality of municipal laws that prohibit the discussion of gender and sexual orientation in schools.
Jacqueline Pitanguy, WLP Board member and Founder of CEPIA, gives a presentation at a National Training of Trainers workshop in June 2017.
  • Organized a Get-out-the-Vote campaign, reaching 3,2450 young women and men.
  • Held the Latin America Regional Partners Convening in June 2022 on women’s political participation and political violence against women with participants from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru.
  • Trained more than 700 students and 90 teachers on issues related to gender power relations, gender-based violence, and sexual autonomy.
  • Held training on women’s political participation, democratic leadership, and human rights for over 100 women from Brazil, Mozambique and Angola.
  • Presented on climate justice at UN Stockholm +50 side event in June 2022.
  • Sensitized youth from Latin America and Lusophone Africa on advocacy and social media at the International Festival for Thinking and Acting (FIPA).
  • Led campaign to draft and pass legislation combatting sexual violence against children and adolescents, which led to the government unanimously approving a new municipal plan in December 2021.
  • Published two resources on democracy, digital security and women’s rights called “Latin American Dialogues on Democracy and Women’s Human Rights: Political Participation of Women and Political Violence Against Women” and “Political Training and Capacity Building Meetings for Women: experiences, resistance, and strategies for action.
  • Produced podcasts on women’s political participation and reproductive justice.
WLP Brazil/Cepia Training of Trainers discussion circle
Young women discuss human rights and leadership in a CEPIA workshop in Brazil.

Organizational Programs and Activities

Human Rights Dialogue

  • CEPIA conducts in-depth studies and develops educational and social intervention projects for diverse social, governmental, and non-governmental sectors. CEPIA disseminates information about international/national mechanisms that monitor and report on human rights; and sensitizes the public and the government on the need for implementing social policies that empower women in their struggle against discrimination and gender violence.
  • CEPIA organizes seminars, social media live events, meetings and conferences, and dialogues with feminists, members of the judiciary, lawyers, legislators, medical doctors, health professionals, labor unions, NGOs, opinion makers, and civil servants responsible for public policies, to broaden the debate on issues relating to its agenda.
Participants in a training of trainers workshop in Brazil take a break from the discussions for photos and laughter.

Advocacy, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Public Policies

  • CEPIA monitors Brazil’s implementation of its constitutional commitments and international obligations to human rights and women’s rights. It conducts research and assesses public policies to uphold women’s movement demands and to propose changes toward greater gender equality and adherence to universal human rights.
  • CEPIA joins national advocacy campaigns for sexual and reproductive rights and health; is a member of the Maternal Mortality Committee; develops training activities for various audiences; develops research and gives guidance on reproductive justice to the Federal Supreme Court.
  • CEPIA’s Director is a member of the Committee of Experts on the follow-up mechanism of the Convention to Prevent, Punish, and Eradicate Violence Against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará).
  • CEPIA is part of the National Social Watch to monitor the implementation of Maria da Penha Law.
  • CEPIA published Violence Against Women: A Guide to Defend, Orientate and Support Victims of VAW. This publication, in its 9th edition, is an important tool to disseminate information on existing services to support women victims of violence and to construct and reinforce a network among them.
Brazil Leadership TOT 2012 Photo
Participants discuss WLP's curriculum at a CEPIA training for women's leadership and ending violence against women.

Digital Technology

  • CEPIA has a strong presence on social media and reaches a large audience through campaigns related to political participation, gender-based violence, and youth pregnancy. CEPIA has a large collection of digital publications, videos, webinars, and tutorials.

Training and Education

  • CEPIA co-coordinates the annual graduate course “Approaches to Human Rights in Health” offered by the Institute for Collective Health Studies (IESC) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
  • CEPIA is a co-organizer of the course “Gender and Law” at the School of Magistrates of the State of Rio de Janeiro (EMERJ).
  • CEPIA conducts workshops with public high school students and teachers on topics relating to citizenship, youth and adolescents’ rights, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, life skills, and health services. CEPIA’s training curriculum for adolescents and youth includes publications on puberty, leadership, life skills, and digital citizenship.
  • Applying a gender and intersectional approach, CEPIA promotes dialogue between Brazilian, Angolan, and Mozambican women through its trainings on leadership, communication strategy, and gender-based violence.
  • CEPIA works with young people to produce YouTube videos and campaigns on topics of interest to them, including gender power relations, sexual violence, youth pregnancy, reproductive health, toxic masculinity, digital security, and the Zika virus.
Our Constitution, in the chapter on Family, abolished the figure of the man as head of the family. Until 1988, the man was the head of the family. That was an extraordinary improvement for women in terms of Family Law. We also have paternal leave, which ideologically was very important because the revolution is not only to put women on the street -- it’s bringing men to the home.

, Founder and Director, WLP Brazil/Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informação e Ação (CEPIA)

About Brazil

  • Population: 217 million
  • Brazil is the largest country in South America and in the Southern Hemisphere, bordering all but two South American countries. 
  • Economy: Ranked 8th in the world
  • Brazil's rapid fertility decline since the 1960s is the main factor behind the country's slowing population growth rate, aging population, and fast-paced demographic transition.
  • Government: Federal Presidential Republic ruled by the 1988 Constitution
  • Legal system: Civil law; a new civil law code in 2002 replaced the 1916 code
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 64.6%, Protestant 22.2%, other Christian 0.7%, Spiritist 2.2%, other 1.4%, none 8%, unspecified 0.4%
  • Seats held by women in national parliament: 15%
  • Labor force: 43.2% female
  • Female literacy: 93.4%
  • Maternal mortality rate: 60 deaths per 100,000 live births
  • Citizenship: By birth or by descent
See MoreSee More