“Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence” (Registered Charity #1602) is a grassroots organisation in Barbados, founded to eradicate the rape culture and gender-based violence in the Caribbean region.
The movement began with a hashtag that was created as a safe space for women who had experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault. Women, encouraged by solidarity, were empowered to speak out on their social media platforms about their experiences. This hashtag went viral – making an appearance in countries all around the globe. However, it particularly championed the experiences of women and girls throughout the Caribbean region and its Diaspora as this was the community it originated from and the community it wanted to challenge.
#LifeInLeggings was purposely coined to dispel the myth that only certain types of women are harassed and are deserving of their assault/abuse because of the way they are dressed. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The success of the hashtag provided documentation of all varieties of violence against women and girls in the Caribbean. It showed the need for an organisation that championed equal rights yet understood the socio-economic complexities of the differing Caribbean countries in order to create a lasting impact. It also highlighted that the message of equality needed to be presented in a way that was both accessible and flexible, with a structure enabling independence and support and a method that could be applied to other countries.
As a charity Life In Leggings is specifically designed to promote advocacy and create awareness of gender-based violence towards women and girls in the Caribbean region. It does this by offering services that can support and encourage a multitude of diverse community development projects, such as:
⦁ Empowerment & Educational Initiatives
⦁ Community Services & Outreach
⦁ Solidarity Marches/Events/Campaigns
⦁ Survivor-focused Events & Initiatives
⦁ Victim Advocacy, Crisis Intervention & Referral Services For Access To Justice & Support
⦁ Awareness Raising Images For Public (PSAs)
⦁ Sensitivity Trainings & Workshops
⦁ Maintaining A Sustained Presence In Electronic & Print Media In Order To Disseminate Key Messages & Positions On Local, Regional & International Gender Issues.
⦁ Developing Strategic Partnerships With Local, Regional & International Organisations That Have Similar Goals.
Despite its youth as an organisation the executive team of Life In Leggings is dedicated to tackling the culture of gender-based violence and sexual assault in Barbados and the Caribbean.
The organisation boasts a diverse and cohesive team with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise from mental health to the arts and a strong belief in effective communication, innovation, and projects that are inclusive of all members of society.
The executive team managed the viral explosion of the campaign across the world while staying grounded and focused on long-term goals, organizing ourselves into a physical charity with a partnership with one of the foremost women’s rights organisations, UN Women Caribbean, in just a few weeks.