In peripheral neighborhoods of São Paulo, Brazil, young women face harassment and violence at home and in the streets: girls shoulder disproportionate domestic responsibilities, and are denied access to public spaces whose use is dictated mainly by force. Founded in 1999, Instituto Sou da Paz works to reduce violence and promote a culture of peace at all levels of Brazilian society, with a particular focus on increasing gun control, reducing police brutality, promoting non-sensationalistic treatment of violence in the media and arts, and empowering communities to reclaim public spaces and explore non-violent strategies for conflict resolution. Through its work in communities, Sou da Paz came to realize that women and girls are largely invisible from both public spaces and public programs serving youth, and addressing gender discrimination has since evolved into an institutional priority.
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