Founder of the Graça Machel Trust
Hon. Graça Machel is one of the world’s leading advocates for women, children, and communities affected by conflict and injustice. Born in a rural part of Portuguese East Africa, she attended university in Lisbon before returning home to be a freedom fighter and schoolteacher. After the declaration of Mozambique’s independence, she became the country’s first Education Minister. In the years following her government ministry, she produced a ground-breaking UNICEF report on the impact of armed conflict on children that changed the way the United Nations and member states respond in conflict zones. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in support of global health, child welfare, and women’s rights and empowerment.
Hon; Machel is a founding member of The Elders, and played a key role in establishing Girls Not Brides. She is the Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, and Board Chair of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and President of the Foundation for Community Development. As founder of the Graça Machel Trust, she has more recently focused on advocating for women’s economic and financial empowerment, education for all, an end to child marriage, food security and nutrition, and democracy and good governance. Machel has been recognized for her work on the Africa Progress Panel, UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child, the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group, and the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Graça Machel has dedicated her life to improving lives, inspiring hope, and building a more just and equitable world for us all.