Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir (CDD-Brasil) Print E-mail

Founded in 1994, Católicas pelo Direito de Decidir (CDD-Brasil), or Catholics for the Right to Decide, is a feminist non-governmental organization that works for equality in gender relations, full citizenship, and human rights for women. It seeks social justice, dialogue between different religions, and changes in cultural and religious patterns that restrict women’s autonomy, particularly with respect to sexuality and reproduction. IWHC has supported CDD-Brasil since 2000. 

“The importance of Catholic Women for the Right to Decide lies in building moral and religious arguments in favor of sexual and reproductive rights. The consistency of its arguments is such that they legitimately occupy a specific space in the broad range of arguments for decriminalizing abortion and also in ethnical-religious issues involving abortion and Catholicism.”  -- Maria José de Oliveira Araújo, MD, former head of the Women’s Heath Department of Brazil’s Ministry of Health 


  • Sexual Rights and Reproductive Health: In partnership with the Ministry of Health (2008), television programs were produced on sexual and reproductive rights, broadcast on the Health Channel; primers on reproductive rights and religion were drafted; and a nationwide survey of medical students in Brazilian federal universities was conducted on their perception of reproductive rights.
  • Young People for the Right to Decide: Since 2007, with activities to create and distribute educational materials, CDD-Brasil has worked with young people involved in social movements and Church movements, sharing their line of arguments with them.
  • Legal Abortion in Public Hospitals: This project has been under way since 2000, always with support from IWHC. Results include: mapping care services; creating networks of interlocutors; production of a book, fliers, papers, signs, and a radio spot; and participation in forums, seminars, and workshops to discuss the topic.
  • Gender Violence: Action and Training to Change Policies and Care Services in Argentina and Brazil with a Southern Cone Outlook (2008-2009): The project aims to help train and sensitize professionals and workers to improve public policies and services addressing gender-based violence in Argentina and Brazil. 
  • Multipliers Project: Since 2002, we have carried out the program through which 28 women who are leaders of social movements from 12 states in Brazil are trained to multiply CDD/Br content in their regions.  


CDD-Brasil is a feminist organization of national reach based in the city of Sao Paulo. With strategy and courage, this group has managed to become a visible counterpoint to the Roman Catholic Church on matters related to sexual and reproductive rights and health. CDD-Brasil produces and disseminates ethical and religious arguments that provide ammunition to social movements in their fight to change society’s mentality. CDD-Brasil work stands alone, as it is the only organization in the country that works with the intersection of sexual/reproductive rights and religion, offering real possibilities for deconstructing fundamentalist ideas that subject women to so many injustices. 

In order to optimize its resources, CDD-Brazil has always invested in communications: they maintain key media contacts and all its staff are trained to speak to the media. In 2009 and 2010, CDD-Brazil was interviewed or quoted 35 times on TV, 53 on radio, 70 on websites, 47 in newspapers and 10 in magazines.

To learn more about CDD-Brasil's work, visit their website (content is in Portuguese).


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