Pink Parliament Initiative Wins CIVICUS Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Award

Media Release

A Celebration of People Power

Winners of the 2021 Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards reflect the power of collective action.

The Awards, named for human rights icon Nelson Mandela and former First Lady of South Africa and Mozambique, humanitarian Graça Machel, honour the power of people to demand change for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.

The 2021 Innovation Awards recognise groups that stand out for their innovative work building people power in support of human rights and social justice for everyone.  Through a public open call, submissions were accepted under the topics explored during the 2020 ICSW/virtual events. After receiving an impressive 5,334 endorsements during the public support campaign for finalists, an external committee of civil society leaders and activists with thematic expertise reviewed and selected seven winners.

The winner in the category, Democratising governance systems and processes, is Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence. (Barbados)

“We’re thrilled to have been selected as a Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Award winner. This award provides us with the opportunity to maximize the Pink Parliament initiative’s impact locally as well as expand its reach throughout the region. We wish to express our appreciation to the selection team for seeing our vision and believing in our mission. We also wish to express our gratitude to our partners and everyone who supported us, especially those individuals who have been there since the project’s inception. Most importantly, we dedicate this award to our phenomenal Pink Parliamentarians, both past and present, because we do this work for them and without them, our vision would not be possible.” – Ronelle King, Director of Life In Leggings & Project Manager of Pink Parliament.

The winners in the other six categories are:

Building and sustaining movements for social justice: (South Africa)

Creating positive narratives for people power:

HIVE Pakistan’s Campaign AIK Better Together (Pakistan)

Enhancing diversity and inclusion through artivism:

Together! Civil Society Organization (Ethiopia)

Protecting and promoting digital civic space:

Hashtag Generation (Sri Lanka)

Resourcing youth-led groups and movements:

Noble Missions for Change Initiative (Nigeria)

Sustaining people power through self- and community-care:          

Let’s Walk Uganda  

We would also like to provide special (non-financial) recognition for the initiative that received the most endorsements on the Innovation Zone platform: Asociación de comunidades negras del Cesar Ku Suto (Colombia). The overwhelming public support received is an important indicator of the value their community places in their work. 

The winners were selected from a pool of more than 350 inspiring applicants from over 70 countries that participated in the open call. Each winner will receive US$5000 in recognition of their work in promoting people power, human rights and social justice.

The Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards are led by global civil society alliance, CIVICUS and seek to celebrate, promote, and defend a worldwide community of informed and inspired citizens engaged in confronting the challenges facing humanity.

For more information, contact:


Pink Parliament: Registration For Cohort 3 Is Open!

Incubator Day 1: Cohort 2’s Pink Parliamentarians Rashana (left) & Aasiyah (right) taking a photo.

Are you interested in applying for Pink Parliament’s Class of 2021-2022?

Here’s what you need to know!

Pink Parliament is an initiative by Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence in collaboration with The Barbados Youth Development Council and in partnership with the The University of the West Indies, Open Campus – Women & Development Unit.

The initiative seeks to inspire and encourage girls and young women between the ages 14-20 to pursue careers in politics and to lead unapologetically. Pink Parliament equips participants with the tools to be bold and effective advocates through professional training, mentorship and networking sessions with political leaders.

Our vision is to increase the participation of women in politics by raising consciousness and cultivate in this generation, young feminist leaders who are ready to champion the issues that they are passionate about and/or affect them. Young feminist leaders who have a desire to redefine male-dominated political and decision-making spaces.

So how do you apply?

Applications for our third cohort opened on June 1st, 2021 and will close on July 31st, 2021.

To register click here and to learn more about the initiative click here.

Caribbean Regional Dialogue: Call for Submissions

We are interested in your contributions!

In preparation for the RVK Dialogue in August, The Caribbean Regional Dialogue is seeking to connect with activists, survivors, and organisers from the Caribbean.

The Regional Dialogue will involve organisations working from an intersectional feminist perspective across the many forms of violence against women and girls that prioritise and amplify voices of survivors. We seek to move from a focus on risk or vulnerability to focus on resistance, coping and what we know makes a difference for survivors.

To this end, we invite you to contribute to the discussion by responding to these 4 questions below:

These questions are to ensure that the voices of Caribbean women activists, practitioners and survivors are included in this cross regional dialogue and ultimately, the RVK dialogue.

We seek to gather as many country specific perspectives as widely as possible and across many languages on ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the Caribbean.

To contribute, simply respond to the question in the comment section below (and remember to include your country/nationality in your response). It is that simple!

If you prefer to share your response anonymously, click here to utilize our form.

We look forward to hearing your stories, wisdom, challenges encountered and expectations for the future.

Finally, we encourage you to submit photos and videos of activists and advocates who have done and are doing work to end Gender-based Violence to our ‘Honouring Activism’ web page. Submit here.

We will keep adding to this collection until the meeting takes place in August 2021.

Letter Writing Campaign (#ProtectOurGirls)

In the last 72 hrs, there has been a collective outrage all across Barbados about the alleged mistreatment and abuse of minors at the Government Industrial School.

A campaign began on Twitter under the hashtag #ProtectOurGirls to bring awareness to the situation and demand immediate intervention from the Minister of Home Affair, Information & Public Affairs.

Under the hashtag, there have been calls for justice and protection of the girls at the facility citing an article detailing the abuse of a 14-year-old girl at the facility.

Reform of the Government Industrial School has been long overdue, join us in demanding that this never happens to another child ever again.

Click here to use our Letter Template in order to participate in our Letter Writing Campaign.

See the instructions below:

#JusticeForOurGirls #LifeInLeggings #ProtectOurYouth

#JusticeForOurGirls (Barbados)

On March 14th 2021, a disturbing article was published by the Nation Newspaper titled “Alarm Over Naked Girl In Cell” detailing the abuse of a 14-year-old girl at the Government Industrial School.

This is unacceptable and we demand #JusticeForOurGirls.

We demand an immediate investigation by the Ministry of Home Affairs into the unfortunate incident involving the alleged inhumane treatment of the 14-year-old girl at the Government Industrial School.

We also call for all findings to be made public and for swift action to ensure the protection and safety of our children in state care.