Home>Gender Studies: Lia, Becoming a Gender Equality Advocate
Gender Studies: Lia, Becoming a Gender Equality Advocate
Lia de Barros Monteiro Amato joined Sciences Po as an undergraduate student. Coming from Brazil, she first joined a bachelor programme on our Poitiers campus, Latin America and the Caribbean minor.
In 2023, she graduated from Sciences Po with a master’s degree in International Governance and Diplomacy from our Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) and the Advanced Certification in Gender Studies, a certificate open to all students in their second year of master programme by Sciences Po's Gender Studies department (PRESAGE). She moved to Vienna to work for the NGO Light for the World as Programme Officer.
Let's meet this graduate.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PURSUE AN EDUCATION IN GENDER STUDIES?
Being very passionate about gender equality, I aim to build a career in the intersection of development, communications and gender equality focusing on Sustainable Development Goal number 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". To achieve this goal, I took my master's degree at the Paris School of International Affairs as an opportunity to deepen my knowledge in gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, diversity and intersectionality. Therefore, obtaining Sciences Po’s Advanced Certification in Gender Studies was a great way to consolidate my expertise in gender, and it was also very meaningful not just in a professional and academic perspective, but also personally – as my commitment to gender equality is something I carry with me every day. I am confident these five years of studies have prepared me to act as a gender advocate in all aspects of my life and this certificate will be an important testimony to this journey, besides helping kick-start this new phase outside of Sciences Po’s walls in the right direction.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR GENDER STUDIES CLASS THAT MOVED YOU?
Since I started my journey at Sciences Po in 2018, I had the opportunity to learn from renowned experts, such as Fanny Benedetti, Executive Director of UN Women France, Helena Alviar García, Lawyer and Professor specialised in feminist theory and anti-discrimination and Saskia Ravesloot, Senior Gender Equality and Human Rights expert. They each provided me with different perspectives on gender studies: Professor Benedetti taught me about the role of gender equality in multilateralism and how to tackle the global backlash on gender and women's rights. Professor Alviar García's class expanded my horizons on feminist and discrimination theories, and allowed me to understand the basis of different feminist currents, such as Marxist, Cultural, Radical and Intersectional feminisms, which was an essential exercise to inform and deepen my own feminist values. In my last semester, Professor Ravesloot's teachings on the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community were crucial to understand my position as an ally to the community, as a cisgender heterosexual woman who is committed to achieving gender equality for all individuals, including all positions in the gender and sexuality spectrums.
WHAT ONE-SENTENCE ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE NEXT COHORTS?
Dare to go beyond the obvious path! And take the opportunity of studying gender at Sciences Po to challenge assumptions and come in with an open mind – to learn as much as possible from the professors, but also to develop your own independent opinions.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU?
I have recently moved to Vienna to join the international NGO Light for the World as Programme Officer. I will be the main point of contact for "We Can Work" partners in West Africa, a programme which aims to promote disability inclusion by supporting young women and men with disabilities to become role model economic actors and bring about system change towards a more inclusive society.