My name is Bárbara César and I'm the delegate of Brazil at this year's G(irls)20 Summit. It is such a pleasure to represent my country in a summit focused on the opportunity gained in terms of strategically engaging women in agriculture and the opportunity lost as a result of violence against women at Mexico. I am eager to discuss important economic and political issues with women like myself, from all over the world. We have many issues in Brazil, and I believe we can learn from each other.
It is unfortunate how much violence still exists in Brazil, largely against women. And most part of these women are not able to say anything about it. They usually do not denounce the aggressor. In September 2006, Brazil's government approved a new legislation known as "Lei Maria da Penha" (Maria da Penha's Law). Maria da Penha a victim of violence was often assaulted by her husband during their six years of marriage. He tried to kill her twice in 1983 because of sick jealousy. She is now physically handicapped as a result of an assault upon her. Maria was unable to stand this situation anymore and finally denounced her husband. He was arrested in 2002, but just two years later he was released. Furious with this situation, she fought hard for the legislation to be changed. Because of Maria de Penha, victims of violence now have a law to protect them.
Maria de Penha's Law is a good example of the importance of the empowerment of girls and women around the world. This is just a sample of the influence and positive results that women can bring to our society. Women are determinate and usually care about the details, which are very important and can make a big difference. If a woman like Maria de Penha was able to change legislation, just imagine what she could do without the burden of violence. Despite it, I believe she will continue to move mountains.
No matter your gender -- if you are a girl, boy, woman or man, you should join the "What's your number?" Campaign to empower girls and women. When you do that, you send a message to G20 leaders showing them that there are 3.5 billion girls and women in the world and they need to be empowered because their empowerment leads to healthier families, innovative economies and stable countries. I got my number. I am supporter #26156 and I care about the future of girls and women like myself. What about you?