From where I stand: Micaele Fernandes


Micaele Fernandes. Photo: UN Women/Gustavo Stephan
Photo: UN Women/Gustavo Stephan


Gender inequality in my community is an everyday struggle. Women are still expected to be submissive to men in professional and social settings and are judged severely.

I had to present a project on women's issues in my school. I decided to share my experience from the Olympic Villa of Mato Alto in Rio de Janeiro, where I attend the ‘One Win Leads to Another’ programme. I explained how it is empowering girls like me through sport. Playing sport teaches us confidence, how to develop leadership, honour our values and work as a team.

I see many girls who dream about being respected and making something big out of their lives, but sometimes they don’t know how to do it. The programme shows them a path. That's what I like about it most and why I want to tell others about it.

I want all girls to believe in themselves, pursue their goals and not be deterred by what others think about them. Being a winner is fighting for what you believe in and never giving up. After all, trying to be better than you were yesterday already makes you a winner.”

SDG 5: Gender equality

Micaele Fernandes, 16, is a handball player from Rio de Janeiro. She is a participant in ‘One Win Leads to Another’, a programme to empower young women and girls through sport in Brazil by UN Women and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Her story relates to Sustainable Development Goal 5, which aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls, and ensure equal opportunities for leadership at all levels in political, economic and public life. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly recognizes sport as an important enabler for development and women’s empowerment.

Read more stories in the “From where I stand...” editorial series.