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Fernanda Matos

Brazil; Trained in 2014

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"I consider myself just a small part of a large group of people who are fighting for a better planet. I am just trying to make a difference on every small thing of my life, as a mother, woman, friend, and citizen." Trained in Rio de Janeiro in 2014, Fernanda Matos has become a true leader in the Climate Reality Brasil community and a powerful voice for gender equality. Currently a post-doctoral resident at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), where she received her PhD in business administration, Fernanda focuses her research and teaching on governance, water, and gender and is the only Brazilian representative on a team of experts helping a UN initiative develop gender-relevant policies for water management in countries around the world.  As she explains, “In general, these initiatives exist to say, ‘Women in water management exist!’ This is because, often, when events are held in the area, the debate tables are predominantly male. [Event organizers] say that they cannot identify women who work in the area, so we try to demystify this idea. After all, they do exist!” Fernanda has a long list of publications in Brazil and abroad to her name and is the co-editor of “Water and Gender: National and International Perspectives and Experiences,” which explores the challenges and potential of empowering women to pursue management positions in water resources. She is also the co-organizer of the Latin American Seminar on Water and Gender, a series of monthly seminars hosted by guest experts in the field. For all her ongoing work, Fernanda was recently honored with the Alfredo Sirkis Memorial Green Ring Award, the highest honor for a Climate Reality Leader. As honored as she was, she believes that the credit and recognition for her work does not belong to her alone. “I consider myself just a small part of a large group of people who are fighting for a better planet. I am just trying to make a difference on every small thing of my life, as a mother, woman, friend, and citizen. I hope this award becomes an inspiration for people to take action. Together, we will change [the world].”
Fernanda Matos