Rede de Desenvolvimento Humano (Human Development Network) is a nonpartisan, civil organization that was created in 1990. Our mission is to defend diversity and promote human development and equality among gender, race and ethnicity. We strive for sustainable development, conservation and protection of the environment.

The strategy that we utilize consists of supported leadership among women and other social status people (young people, communities and teachers) in decision making and implementation of public policies for women, black populations, youth and other segments in socially disadvantaged communities. A major focus of REDEH is sustainable development.

REDEH was one of the coordinating bodies of Women´s Action Agenda 21 which was prepared by 1500 leaders, 83 countries, and global leaders from various international organizations who gathered at the First Women´s World Congress for a Healthy Planet in November 1991. The Congress created an essential foundation for women and sustainable development and the recommendations were adopted by 170 heads of states during the UN Conference on Environment and Development – Rio-92.

Since then and in collaboration with women’s organizations and other groups, REDEH has been working on implementing these recommendations by a.) campaigning equality between and within races, ethnicities and genders; b.) training local leaders;  and, c.) participating in sustainable policy development at the federal, state and municipal levels.

In 1990 (the same year that REDEH was established) the Women’s Organization for Environment and Development (WEDO) was created by the initiative and visions of American feminists, Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, and Brownie Ledbetter. Thais Corral, the founder of REDEH, was invited and asked to partake in WEDO´s strategic advice at Rio-92.

Rio-92 resulted in unprecedented success reflective in policy and strategy discussion and development. Women´s perspectives on such issues have been translated into more than 90 specific recommendations within Agenda 21. Chapter 24 brings together a set of recommendations, goals and approaches in integrating women and gender issues at diverse levels of government and within related activities of all UN agencies.

The network of women also occupied a privileged position at the Global Forum of NGOs where they established Planeta FEMEA- a forum that brought 3,000 women from around the globe to share experiences, perspectives and best practices.

Coordinated by the Coalition of Brazilian Women, Planet Female considered all 21 topics in the Agenda for Action on Women and received worldwide recognition, making itself as one of the most visited websites of the Forum Global. REDEH’s participation and collaboration earned the organization national and international recognition as a participant and an ambassador for women and sustainable development.

After the UN opened global forums at Rio-92, other global interactions and conferences followed such as the UN  World Conferences on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and on Women (Beijing, 1995) which created discussion, policy advancement and global visibility surrounding women and sustainable development.

For ten years REDEH provided strategic assistance in developing and revamping Women´s Action Agenda 21 in preparation for the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The revitalized Women’s Action Agenda for a Healthy and Peaceful Planet 2015 looks toward the future by bringing the UNCED agreements to fruition.

Within the new Agenda are five critical topics that include: 1.) Peace and Human Rights; 2.) Globalization for Sustainability; 3.) Access and Control of Resources; 4.) Environmental Security and Health; 5.) Governance for Sustainable Development.


Over the last two decades, REDEH has established four working programs:

  •   Sustainable development
  •   Non-discriminatory education
  •   Health and sexual reproductive rights
  •   Research and documentation

Sustainable Development

REDEH participated in all the UN Global Conferences that were held in the 1990s by creating awareness of sustainability throughout Women´s Action Agenda 21 and Women’s Action Agenda for a Healthy and Peaceful Planet 2015. In Brazil, REDEH has focused on implementing both the recommendations of Agenda 21 and the Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change.

Sustainable Development program – Initiatives and Accomplishments:

1993-1994: Caravan of Women for a Healthy Planet – In partnership with the State Council of Women of St. Paul and other NGOs launched the Caravan of Women for a Healthy Planet that toured several cities throughout the state promoting the Action Agenda 21 Women for a Healthy Planet.

1993: Local Agenda 21 Forum in Rio de Janeiro – REDEH participated in the development process that resulted in the Committee of Support to Agenda 21 of Rio de Janeiro, the first city to develop and implement Local Agenda 21. After deployment, REDEH was one of the members of the Forum of Local Agenda 21.

1996-1997: Practice of Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 – REDEH conducted a national survey about sustainable development practices and local Agenda 21. The research results was published by the Environment Ministry and presented at the fifth anniversary of Rio 92, also known as Rio +5.

1998-1999: Grants for the Development of Agenda 21. REDEH (in addition to IBAMA and ISER) won the bid to engage in national consultation throughout different sectors of Brazilian society and produce reports on Sustainable Cities and Reducing Social Inequalities.

1998-1999: Local Government – Dedicated to implement Agenda 21 in Rio de Janeiro, REDEH promoted the project, Local Government, in five municipalities, with the objective of coordinating and engaging the public, private, third sectors to actively participate in Agenda 21 initiatives. This collaboration and engagement within the different sectors created education resources for the public and a final report about the methodology and experience of those  municipalities involved.

1999-2000: Participation of women in the process of Local Agenda 21. Along with WEDO and ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), REDEH developed a world survey of the advances in women’s participation in the process of Local Agenda 21. Research results were published in 2000 and presented at the International Conference of ICLEI in Dessau, Germany.

2001-2002: REDEH held in partnership with WEDO international consultations to evaluate the progress of Agenda 21. There were five international meetings and the results were published in the new Women´s Action Agenda for a Healthy and Peaceful Planet 2015 and disseminated during the meeting of Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg.

2001-2002: Project GEOCITIES – REDEH, ISER ( and IBAM ( in partnership the Ministry of Environment developed a methodology of indicators for monitoring local sustainability. Known as GEOCITIES, methodologies and various approaches were applied in two cities, Manaus and Rio de Janeiro.  Final reports were later subject to a set of training courses conducted in the municipalities. To view the reports, visit REDEH´s publication section.

2003: International Conference on Sustainable Development Indicators and Quality of Life (ICONS) – REDEH coordinated the implementation of the International Conference on Sustainable Development Indicators and Quality of Life (ICONS) which welcomed over 700 leaders from around the Brazil. The conference was conducted in partnership with the Ethos Institute ( and the Federation of Industries of Paraná ( The ICONS launched a proposal requesting the installation of observatories of indicators for sustainable development

2003: Agenda 21 of the Amazon Women was developed in partnership with the Women’s Movement in the Amazon (MAMA). A report released from federal senate proposed methods in providing specific subsidies to support the inclusion of gender issues and sustainable structures in policy development of Amazonia.

Since 2001, REDEH´s initiatives and focus has been on climate change consequences and adaptation.

2001-2005: Agents of Citizenship Waters- A strategy launched in 2001 to train community leaders and promote the use of sustainable technologies with the objective of combating drought and poverty in semi-arid regions. The following three projects were successfully implemented:

From 2000-2001, a partnership between the Secretary of Technology and Environment of Pernambuco created “Pernambuco in the Fight against Desertification” . The project trained community female leaders from five counties of the semi-arid region of Pernambuco who transformed into educators and agents of action in combating drought and poverty within their communities;

A project developed from 2004-2005 in Valente (semi-arid Bahia) and Traíras (Alagoas) strengthened the capacity of mobilizing community members and implementing irrigation projects that use clean solar energy.  The experience in Valente was later referenced as a case study and published in a book that is available among the publications;

In 2003 REDEH in partnership with AGENDHA trained women on how to effectively incorporate specific policies surrounding the production of sustainable agriculture practices in three municipalities in Bahia: Curaçá, Paulo Afonso and Delmiro Gouveia, Alagoas.

The strategy to mobilize women as Agentes da Cidadania das Águas received recognition as the Best Practice in 2003 from the World Water Summit in Kyoto, Japan.

In 2005 REDEH joined the coalition South South North (SSN). Thais Corral, General Coordinator of REDEH, was selected as the Director of Training to advance and support strategic development within 6 countries (Brazil, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Indonesia and Bangladesh). The main objective of South-South-North is to promote adaptation and mitigation of climate change to combat poverty. A pilot program known as Pintadas Solar Project in Brazil was launched with a focus in supporting local farmers with the social advances and efficient irrigation technologies needed in climate change adaptation ( The project received several awards, including the SEED Award 2008. The design was chosen as “best practice “ with potential for scale and significant contribution to sustainable development” from over 400 design projects worldwide.

2009: Adapta Sertao:

To develop an effective and sustainable agricultural production model that helps in adapting small farmers to climate change impacts. The semi-arid region of Pintadas, Brazil is effected by sporadic rainfall variability due to climatic changes thus, the vision of the Adapta Sertão is to disseminate knowledge and viable approaches in adapting climatic changes.

Non-discriminatory education

The objective is to establish a bridge between the recommendations within UN conferences – in particular the World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995) and the World Conference on Adult Education (Hamburg, 1997) – and national education policies. REDEH has contributed to new subjects at school through non-discriminatory education.

This initiative aims to internalize the functions of daily classroom activities according to the goals established in the National Curriculum (2000), the assumptions set out by Law 10639/03 and Opinion CNE / CP 003 / 2004 – The National Curriculum Guide for the Education of Racial-Ethnic Relations and the Afro-Brazilian culture. Through this Program of Continuing Education of Teachers, REDEH provides practical knowledge. We encourage the pursuit of a non-discriminatory education.

Gender, race and ethnicity, health and environment, human rights, sexual violence against women and teenage pregnancy are issues that REDEH has worked closely on with elementary school teachers. We also help educators overcome social prejudice, conflicts and steps toward positive resolutions through support and training that we provide.

We provide a kit of materials to support teachers so they have the capacity to address various issues. Included in the kits are visuals, videos and radio programs in a language that is easily understood as the kits also act as a functional tool for group discussion and reflection. The training seminars – typically 120 hours each – address approaches on how educators can use the material in an effective manner.

From 1996 until 2004, approximately 4,500 educators in 36 municipalities in the State of Rio de Janeiro actively participated in courses on Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Environment and Sexual Orientation. This program has been developed in partnership with the Department of Elementary Education, the State Department, and the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro.

In 2002, REDEH conducted a training seminar for 300 teachers from different public schools in Rio de Janeiro.The seminar was part of a national project – initially supported by the Avina Foundation and The Apothecary – which seeks to identify the role of women in each Brazilian state and aims to influence the history of women’s participation in Rio de Janeiro.

From 2005 to 2006, a project called Stop the Violence Against Women in School, was held in 12 municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro. In partnership with the Secretariat of Policies for Women, 700 educators, Students of Teacher Training Courses and different public and private institutions participated in the project.

Discussion groups were held in 2006 by the educator, Nísia Floresta na Roda who, in partnership with Bank of Brazil Foundation reflected and discussed the struggle for women’s education in the country as well as the construction of women’s citizenship.

REDEH’s long experience in the field of educational support for teachers and students has always been a collaboration and partnership with MEC/SECAD, local institutions and leaders and members from Quilombo communities.

The partnership supported the Quilombo and the Quilombos Camp of Independence which also included Bracuí, Botafogo, Caveiras, Fazenda Machadinha, Santana and Rasa all in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Thousands of comic book copies were printed and successfully distributed for pupils. The second phase of work between REDEH / SCM / SECAD, called Quilombo Mines, was launched in 2007 among Quilombros of Açude, Espinho, Mato do Tição, Mangueiras, Quartel do Indaiá, Ausente de Cima, Ausente de Baixo, Baú, Pinhões and Sapé.

In 2008 and in partnership with the Latin American Center for Sexuality and Human Rights (CLAM / UERJ) material was developed on Teenage Pregnancy and Sexuality after extensive conversations among educators and in partnership with the Municipal Education Secretariat of Rio de Janeiro. This initiative aims to collect, catalog and disseminate theoretical material on gender, race and ethnicity, human rights, sustainable development and women’s participation in Brazil’s history. The Documentation Centre houses an extensive collection that is open to the public.

Research and Information

Since REDEH’s inception, we have spread knowledge through publications, research initiatives and various media outlets. REDEH gives visibility to Brazil’s feminine history and celebrates the partnership between REDEH, the Ford Foundation, FINEP, the Bank of Brazil, Petrobras and  Special Secretariat of Policies for Women.

The project known as Woman of 500 Years Ago, was created with the objective to collect and disseminate the history of Brazilian women from the time of the Portuguese arrival in Brazil in 1500. To date, the project has created the following publications:

1998 – Women’s Video Production. In partnership with the Panos TVE – Brazil Network / Ford Foundation.

2000 – Abrealas (book) – The first wave of feminism highlighting the struggle of women to receive education and the right to suffrage. The UNIFEM partnership and Hall Dictionary of Christmas and the Women of Brazil – includes an illustrated biography. Edited by Editora Zahar. Art Without Borders Partnership and the Ford Foundation.

2003 – River of Women’s Participation in state history in Fluminense of Rio de Janeiro. Partnerships include Avina Foundation and Apothecary.

2005 – Gogo de Emas – the participation of women in the history of Alagoas. Partnerships with the Printing Bureau of the State of São Paulo, Women’s Secretariat of State of Alagoas, Avina and Apothecary.

2006 – The Memory Project. REDEH was selected by the Bank of Brazil Foundation for the creation of this project. The Project aims to restore, promote and preserve the memory of historical events or personalities that helped in shaping the cultural identity of Brazil or had significant contribution to the development of the country’s point of view historical, artistic, scientific, technological or political. In the tenth edition in 2006, the Memorial Project was chosen to honor the first female writer, educator and feminist Nísia Forest. REDEH produced a biographical book, resources for teachers, traveling exhibitions, videos, and websites ( Partnerships included REDEH, Ministry of Culture, Petrobras, and Bank of Brazil Foundation.

2007 – Forest Nísia Design on Stage. A project developed with students from public schools in Brasilia. Partnerships included REDEH, Ministry of Culture, Petrobras, Middle Way, Bank of Brazil Foundation.

2007 – Black Women of Brazil, winner of the 50th Jabuti Prize in Human Sciences and in partnership with Petrobras, the Ministry of Culture, Bank of Brazil and the Special Secretariat for Policies Promoting Racial Equality – SEPPIR

Youth and Culture

Through the Center for Youth and Culture, REDEH promotes young leaders across the country, developing and supporting cultural activities, training and communication. The Youth Center participates in national and international events and has held several meetings and conferences while representing the interests of Brazilian youth: especially young women.

1997 – Present Project of the Future: fifteen women leaders across the country were selected to participate in the First Training Course on Gender, Social Mobilization and Radio in Rio de Janeiro.

2003/2004 – Project Hip Hop: provides information and promotes anti-smoking through young radio hosts and fans of Hip Hop culture. This project conducted a seminar in the state of Rio de Janeiro with 25 Hip Hop rappers and produced three million copies of a CD with music composed during the event. In 2004, they produced five million copies of a comic book, directed at children. The music and lyrics are available on the site Partnerships included REDEH, CEMINA, WHO – World Health Organization, ACT – For the Tobacco Control Alliance, Viva Rio and the State Department of Health and RJ INCA – Ministry of Health.

2004. Project Hip Hop and Health and Sexuality: The project focuses on introducing gender perspectives, reflections and understandings of the factors that lead to the violation of women’s rights, especially their sexual and reproductive rights. Partnerships: CEMINA, REDEH and Secretariat of Policies for Women – PMS.

2005 – Rhythm Girls  Project: Women in Hip Hop united for Elimination of Violence Against Women – The project is the first in a series of activities that the Center for Youth CEMINA place to bring awareness and educate, especially young people on violence against women. 3000 CD’s were produced (40 participants) in five regions of Brazil and in addition to a documentary (Warriors of Brazil). Partnerships: REDEH, CEMINA, Secretariat of Policies for Women – UNIFEM and SPM.

2006 – The Daughters of Santa Teresa Project: Promoting Leadership for young citizens in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa – Partnerships: REDEH, and CEMINA PIWH.

2007 – Completion Of Knowledge : The program aims to give young people the opportunity to explore different areas of knowledge that are not fully covered by school education or families. This will prepare and position them into social and cultural life within and outside the community. Partners: REDEH / Institute Pollen / Ong Iko Poran / Coalition Of Slums De Santa Teresa / Julio Otoni community residents.

2007 – The Capoeira Group: This program aims to encourage physical activity and organization, collective coexistence among children, youth and adults in the community. The program is based on equity, respect, discipline and creativity. Partners: REDEH / Institute Pollen / Only Capoeira Group / Project Jinga / Residents Association Of Community Julio Otoni.

2007 – Women’s  of Santa Teresa Workshop – The project works with the production of recycled paper and promotes the reuse of disposables. The project assists mothers as a way to integrate families in the activities of the Community Center. Partners: REDEH / Pollen Institute / Instituto Marques de Salamanca / Workshop Reciclarte / Pilot Project of Santa Teresa.

Health, Sexuality and Reproductive Rights

The issue of health and reproductive rights and the sexual agenda marks the women’s movement in Brazil. REDEH examined methodologies that value the role of women as agents of prevention and health promotion.

Under joint and public policies on health, sexuality and reproductive rights, REDEH integrates the National Feminist Network for Reproductive Rights and Health (Health Net) and the Conference for the Right to Legal and Safe Abortion.

When focusing on reproductive rights, REDEH integrates the Campaign- Day of Struggle for Latin American Decriminalization of Abortion- which calls for partnerships and continued attention to the many challenges of reproductive rights.

Issues surrounding health and prevention, reproductive and sexual rights, REDEH developed educational material and established new ways of implementing the Platform for Action of the UN Conferences. It is also worth mentioning other conferences such as the World Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994 and the World Conference on Women, Development and Peace held in Beijing, China, 1995.

1991 – Women, Breeding and Environment: an international meeting attended by representatives of 32 countries with the aim of discussing new reproductive technologies and approaches in preparing for the main agenda in 92. Partnerships:  Anstiftung Frauen German Ministry of Cooperation of the Dutch Government and Oxfam in Brazil.

1993 – Life Cycles: A series of debates on biodiversity and human reproduction facing educators and activists of social movements. Partner: Frauen Anstiftung Germany.

1996 – The Health of Women in Radio: Project developed in partnership with CEMINA, with the aim of training young people for the job market in the area of communication.

1996 – Prevention: Path to Health:  A methodology aimed at mobilizing agents of prevention, with the aim of preventing breast cancer and cervical cancer in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Partnerships: the Health Departments of Municipalities and the Programme of Women Living INCA.

1997 – Health and Environment: A project developed in partnership with CEMINA, with the aim of training young people for the job market in the area of communication, and exploring central issues involving health and the environment in all its aspects. CEMINA Partnership Program and Community Development.

1997 – Prevention: Path to Health: Project on the National Campaign Against Cervical Cancer. Partnerships: the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the SOS Corpo, IDAC (Institute for Cultural Action), Grupo Transas do Corpo, and the House of Catherine. Workshops were held in five regions of the country. The leaders were trained in possession of a kit, comprising a manual, an audio tape, a video and educational pamphlets for distribution, and departed for the field in order to train other officers. The result was encouraging: the five seminars are deployed in 62 workshops and around 2,000 staff were trained.

1998 – Project Prevention: Path to Health:  The Project promotes the training of community workers to adopt healthy lifestyles with emphasis on how to prevent cervical cancer: the most common type of cancer affecting women in Brazil. Besides the prevention of breast cancer and cervical cancer, the campaign also addresses issues associated to smoking. In partnership with the Zero Tobacco Coalition, coordinated by REDEH and composed of civil society organizations, medical associations, scientific communities, activists and people interested in curbing the spread of the tobacco epidemic. The goal of the Zero Tobacco Coalition is to collaboorate a network that strengthens the role of civil society organizations by implementing facets of the Framework Convention in Brazil. The project was supported by the Ministry of Health, through INCA.

1999- 2003- Health Promotion: A project developed in Rio de Janeiro that promoted and hosted events and forums to disseminate information about the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV / AIDS. Partnerships: Health / STDs and AIDS Program.

2001-2002: Female Prevention: Project developed in the region of Vargem Grande and that promoted the adoption of safe sexual practices through events and awareness campaigns conducted in the city. A strong component of this mobilization was the training of volunteers and mobilizing citizen action. Partnership Health / STDs and AIDS Program.

2004 – Love Handles: The project promotes preventive actions to STD / AIDS aimed at adult women and adolescents in the slum communities within the region of Vargem Grande. Its main activity has been the training of 30 women leaders for community action in preventing diseases. Partnerships: Health / STDs and AIDS Program.

2005/2006  Telling the Truth about Health Services to Women .  This was a research to evaluate the quality of health services in Rio de Janeiro, the municipalities covered were o Rio de Janeiro (Comunidade Acari), Paty do Alferes (RJ)  and Paraty  (RJ). Project developed in Partnership with PROSARE.

2008 – Teenage Pregnancy and Sexuality: A conversation with educators. In addition to the production of a manual on teenage pregnancy and sexuality evolved regular meetings of teacher training programs. Partnerships: the Municipal Education Secretariat of Rio de Janeiro, the Latin American Center for Sexuality and Human Rights (CLAM / UERJ).

2010 – History of Mary in Heaven on Earth: A publication on sexual and reproductive rights. Partnership: CFEMEA.

Zero Tobacco Coalition

Zero Tobacco Coalition is composed of civil society organizations, medical associations, scientific communities, activists and people interested in curbing the spread of the tobacco epidemic.

Smoking is considered a public health problem that kills nearly 5 million people worldwide and 200,000 in Brazil alone. To curb the spread of this epidemic was the first international treaty negotiated in health care, convened by WHO in 1999 and concluded in May 2003 after public hearings and negotiations involving six meetings of the 192 WHO member countries. The treaty, signed by 40 countries is known as the “Framework Convention for Tobacco Control,” Although Brazil has already made plausible progress with regard to several of the measures advocated in the Framework Convention, there is still much to be done. International case studies shows that tobacco control programs can be more efficient and sustainable in the long term when partnerships among governmental and nongovernmental organizations exist and work toward a united goal.

The goal of the Zero Tobacco Coalition is to consolidate a network that strengthens the role of civil society organizations toward implementing the Framework Convention in Brazil. This requires using a dynamic approach in articulating and responding by pressuring our governments to promote action and legislation surrounding tobacco control.

The Coalition seeks information exchange and thus, has created forums through Yahoo Groups. In the near future the Coalition intends to create a database on the members of the Coalition and a virtual space for systematic exchange of experiences which also serves as a source of news about activities in the area of tobacco control for the general public.

When REDEH lead the Zero Tobacco Network initiative, we produced a series of publications, campaigns and research were produced by REDEH when we lead the period in which he led the Paula Johns, Cooddinator of the Zero Tobacco Network, was one of six awarded by PAHO – Pan American Health Organization on NO World Tobacco Day 2005 an event whose theme was the involvement of health professionals in addressing the smoking. Since 2006, the Zero Tobacco Network gained autonomy and their actions today are developed and coordinated by the Alliance for Tobacco Control, based in Rio de Janeiro. More information can be found at

Socio-Environmental Entrepreneurship

Since 2006, REDEH has been strengthening itself as a catalyst for action and creating social and environmental impacts. One of the initiatives that developed was the Julio Otoni Favela in Rio de Janeiro. Since 2006 a number of organizations have been attempting to curve the drug trafficking that occurs among children and youth. Fifty children and young people between the ages of 7 and 16 participate in daily education.  For all of the latest news about the Julio Otoni project, there is a blog which can be visited at ( l activities.

In 2007 we launched The Daughters of Charity: a program that selects 20 young people between 15 and 24 years of age to engage in community leadership activities and responsibility. This program was successfully carried out for 18 months.

From 2009-2010 and with the support of SEBRAE, 30 women were selected for a duration of 1 year to be part of the Women’s Income Generation Project,  Mulheres de  Santa  was an initiative for these women to produced handicrafts from recycled materials.

Another initiative was the  project  Águas de Santo Antonio, which involves the neighborhood of St. Anthony., located in the municipality of Duque de Caxias., metropolitan area of Rio de  Janeiro.  This initiative educated local young people about the importance of maintaining and preserving natural resources. A youtube video can be seen on about this initiative in further detail Águas de Santo Antonio.