Maria Fernanda Carvalho Francisco was elected Deputy President of the ITUC at the 3rd ITUC World Congress in Berlin in 2014, after serving as a member of the ITUC General Council. From the province of Malanje in Angola, she moved to the capital Luanda in 1985 and joined the local trade union of the national centre UNTA-CS. In 1998 she was instrumental in the creation of the UNTA-CS Women’s Committee, which has been a driving force behind the increase of women in decision-making positions within the Angolan trade unions from 5 per cent in 1998 to 40 per cent today. She also successfully championed improved maternity rights in Angola, with an increase in the maternity leave standard from two to three months. Along with her international responsibilities, she serves as Assistant General Secretary of the UNTA-CS.