25 for 25 is an original content series by Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE to mark the historic milestone of Beijing +25 in March, as well as Women’s History Month. The series will highlight activists, CHIME Advisory Board members, partners and supporters who represent the progress made on gender equality over the past 25 years, and the emerging next generation continuing this critical work.

CHIME is proud to feature Maria Cavalcanti, CEO of Pro Mujer, as one of the 25 women leaders working to advance gender equality featured in the 25 for 25 series. Through Pro Mujer, Maria is working to promote sustainable growth and develop an extended, large-scale platform to empower women throughout Latin America. Discover her reflections on the fight for gender equality below.

What are your hopes and expectations for gender equality in the next 25 years?
We cannot fight exclusion with exclusion. I hope for a future where the fight for gender equality has ensured that women on the margins are equally lifted and their voices heard. It is also a future where men have fully embraced their potential to drive gender equality as role models, key allies and activists.

What does gender equality mean to you?
Gender equality means building a world where all women and girls not only survive, but thrive.

What keeps you energized and committed as a leader for gender equality?
As CEO of Pro Mujer, I have traveled more miles than I could count to meet and listen to our beneficiaries across countries, cultures, languages and generations. From women who have stood up against violence to young mothers realizing their entrepreneurial dreams, I am both humbled and driven by their tenacity and resilience.