Life In Leggings: Dismantling gender-based violence
25 November was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and in honour of this day, we’re celebrating the work of a wonderful leader in this space, Ronelle King.
Ronelle joined us as a speaker at the Virgin Unite and The CEO Magazine co-hosted gathering in May 2023.
Ronelle hails from the beautiful island of Barbados and is a fierce advocate for the eradication of violence against women and girls in the Caribbean. Ronelle founded Life in Leggings, a regional organisation based in Barbados and she is deeply committed to dismantling gender-based violence through advocacy, education, empowerment, and community outreach. Ronelle is also a 2023-2024 Obama Foundation Scholar at Columbia University.
The origin story of Life in Leggings is an incredibly powerful one – it began with the use of the hashtag #LifeInLeggings, which she coined to show that sexual harassment and abuse happens no matter what clothing women are wearing. The viral hashtag and campaign spread quickly throughout the Caribbean and empowered survivors of gender-based violence and sexual harassment to share their experiences, find solidarity, and collectively advocate for the end of gender-based violence across the Caribbean.
In 2017, Life in Leggings organised the Reclaim Our Streets women’s solidarity march to show that women and girls shouldn’t have to be afraid walking the streets of their hometowns. Marches took place in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominica, The Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, and St. Lucia, starting with addresses from speakers before a non-violent, empowering march to show solidarity with victims of gender-based violence.
Today, Life in Leggings has evolved from a social media awareness campaign to a grassroots movement that provides empowerment and educational programmes, advocacy, and survivor support services to women and girls. Its 'Pink Parliament' programme works with young women and girls to increase their participation in politics, equipping young women with the tools to be bold and effective advocates through professional training, mentorship, and networking sessions with political leaders.
The Redefining Masculinities programme seeks to transform Caribbean masculinity by involving men and boys in the fight against gender-based violence. Life in Leggings works with men and boys to address toxic masculinity and create allyship by interrogating the patriarchy’s impact on men’s lives and how it connects to gender-based violence. The aim of the programme is to create a gender-equal society and end male-perpetrated violence against women and girls.
This year, between 7 and 10 December, Ronelle will be a featured activist participating in the Women’s Solidarity March in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). This march is organised by Girl Up BVI and supported by Virgin Unite’s local non-profit foundation, Unite BVI, which is helping to host the event.
Visit Life in Leggings to learn more about Ronelle’s work or follow her on social media: Twitter and Instagram. To provide support for Life in Leggings programmes and operations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.