Instituto Consulado da Mulher

In 2002, Whirlpool Latin America started the Instituto Consulado da Mulher (ICM) program in Brazil.  The program is dedicated to improving the lives of low-income women living in Brazil, which echoes two of the United Nations’ eight Millennium Development Goals:  the eradication of poverty and the promotion of gender equality and women’s autonomy.  Considered to be the base to sustaining a family and also a multiplier of information, women have the capacity to drive parents, husbands and children to achieve an improved social position. 

In Brazil, women head 42 percent of the 25 percent poorest households.  Of these, 40 percent live alone with their children and 25 percent are over 40 years of age and either have little schooling or are illiterate. To address these issues, ICM developed small business cooperatives designed to develop the entrepreneurial and employment skills of low-income women, while also providing their families with a steady income. 

ICM has positively impacted the lives of more than 25,000 women, touching their lives more than 150,000 times through workshops, classes and other education and support activities.