Ms Graça Machel is the Founder of the Graça Machel Trust, an organisation that advocates for the rights of women and children in Africa, as well as good governance and democracy.  She has been a social and political activist over many decades and currently serves in various capacities on different panels, among them the Africa Progress, and the UN Millennium Development Goals Advocates Panels. She is also an Eminent Person of the GAVI Alliance, the UN Foundation, and the UN High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

 MS Graça Machel also chairs several internationally renowned institutions and organisations such as The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn& Child Health (PMNCH) and the Leadership Council for the Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS (CEPA). She is co-founder of the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) and the Forum of African Women Educationalists (FAWE), an advocacy network which has been a reference in the promotion of girls' education and empowerment in Africa.

As Minister of Education and Culture in Mozambique (1975-1989), she led an inclusive movement which contributed to increased enrolment in primary schools from 40 per cent of children in 1975, to over 90 per cent of boys and 75 per cent of girls by 1989. Ms Graça Machel was President of the National Organization of Children of Mozambique for two decades, the largest children's organisation in Mozambique. More recently, she founded the Institute for Child Development (Zizile IDC) to focus on early childhood development.