While her new role as Duchess of Sussex may preclude her from being overtly political, Meghan Markle has continued to use her global platform to shine light on causes that she's passionate about—especially the empowerment of women.
So it's not a big surprise that Markle started off International Women's Day with a great honor from another powerful woman: the Queen of England. Markle was named vice president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust (QCT) which "funds and connects young leaders around the world." Queen Elizabeth is a patron, and Markle's husband, Prince Harry, already serves as president. "In her role as Vice President of QCT, The Duchess of Sussex will highlight our partnerships with young people across the Commonwealth, and in particular our work supporting women and girls," the organization said in a statement.
After this announcement, Markle participated in a panel discussion convened by the QCT to talk about the issues women and girls face around the world. The panel's host, Anne McElvoy, an editor at The Economist, described her as "a royal not afraid to embrace full-on feminism." The panel was made up of a diverse group of women, including singer Annie Lennox, model and activist Adwoa Aboah, former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, Let Us Learn founder Chrisann Jarrett, and the executive director of Campaign for Female Education.
“I think the real treat in and of itself is being able to be here—that is such a gift on this day," Markle said. "And then separate from that there are the women in my life that I want to celebrate with and send some love to today. But also the men who are championing all of us as part of this journey. And then I’ll put my feet up because that’s a deserved treat, especially in this stage of pregnancy.”
Here are some of her best quotes.
On gender stereotypes
“I think when we talk about gender stereotype shifting—what it means to be masculine, what it means to be feminine—you know I've said for a long time: you can be feminine and feminist. You can be masculine. And I think in terms of masculinity, you understand that your strength includes knowing your vulnerabilities and your sense of self and security."
On feminism for everyone
"We must be global feminists and include men and boys."
“If things are wrong and there is a lack of justice and an inequality, someone needs to say something—and why can’t it be you?” (Simple, yet sound advice from a woman who once got Ivory soap to change the wording of a sexist ad.)
On Social Media
“Hashtags are not enough. We have a responsibility as well, that if you're part of social media and engaging in that way, we're not just giving people more things to chat about but actually something to do, and what's the action."
On Baby Sussex
“It's funny, I'd actually been joking these past few weeks… I'd seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism, and one of the things they said during pregnancy was 'I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism.' I loved that. So boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that's the case." (And in case you were wondering, Markle's pregnancy is going "very well.")
On Prince Harry (and men's) feminism
“Your confidence comes in knowing that a woman by your side, not behind you, is actually something you shouldn't be threatened about but, opposed to that, you should feel really empowered in having that additional support that this is really about us working together. That's what gender equality means for me and having men part of that conversation saying there's nothing threatening about a women coming up to the same level, it's our safety in numbers, this is our power and our strength as a team. And that's gender neutral if you really think about it. So I hope that men are part of the conversation. My husband certainly is."
Published at Fri, 08 Mar 2019 15:30:00 +0000