Meghan Markle may be finishing up the last few stops on her royal tour of South Africa, but that hasn't stopped her from tackling some of the most important issues facing women throughout the country and the rest of the world.
The Duchess of Sussex has been focusing heavily on raising awareness for gender inequality and its surrounding issues. On Saturday night, she shared a message by way of the official Sussex Royal Instagram account urging for "action" instead of hope when it comes to finding a viable way to combat the problem.
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“On Thursday we convened a meeting of minds – a group of women ranging from a legendary anti-apartheid activist, female parliamentarians, professors, educators and policy makers to discuss the rights of women in South Africa. In the lead up to this tour it weighed heavily on my heart to see the countless violations against women, and I wanted to spend my time on the ground learning about the situation at hand. One of the guests, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn was just 18 years old when in 1956 she led 20,000 women to march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest of apartheid pass laws. She is the last living leader of the march, and today, a symbol of those who fight for fundamental human rights – For her it is simple – she fights for what is right. Issues of gender inequality affect women throughout the world, independent of race, color, creed, or socioeconomic background. In the last week I’ve met with women from all walks of life – religious leaders such as the first female rabbi in Capetown, grassroots leaders in Nyanga at Mbokodo, community activists, parliamentarians, and so many more. In sitting down with these forward thinkers, it was abundantly clear – it is not enough to simply hope for a better future; the only way forward is “hope in action.” I’m eager to spend the next few days in South Africa continuing to learn, listen and absorb the resilience and optimism I’ve felt here.“ -Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex
Markle described a "meeting of minds" during her Thursday outing, describing how she had met with women in the country "ranging from a legendary anti-apartheid activist, female parliamentarians, professors, educators and policy makers to discuss the rights of women in South Africa." She noted that it "weighed heavily" on her heart to see "countless violations" against women, and as such she had wanted to spend her time in the country learning more about how the problem of gender inequality had been affecting women.
"Issues of gender inequality affect women throughout the world, independent of race, color, creed, or socioeconomic background," shared Markle. "In the last week I’ve met with women from all walks of life — religious leaders such as the first female rabbi in Capetown, grassroots leaders in Nyanga at Mbokodo, community activists, parliamentarians, and so many more." The Duchess concluded that after sitting with these "forward thinkers" that action instead of well-wishes were an integral part of the equation when it comes to finding a way forward.
"It is not enough to simply hope for a better future," she concluded. "The only way forward is 'hope in action.'"
Markle also made an important stop during her tour in an effort to extend her own personal gesture in the realm of gender inequality, as she remained in South Africa while Prince Harry explored Angola. She remained behind with baby Archie as she explored the Cape Town memorial of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old student who had allegedly been raped and later killed by a post office employee.
While spending time at Mrwetyana's memorial, Meghan left a handwritten note that offered support, reading both "Harry & Meghan 26th September 2019" and a message in Xhosa that translated to "We stand together in this situation."
Meghan hasn't disclosed her own plans just yet on taking action in terms of working to stop gender inequality, but she's certainly left an important personal mark on South Africa during her time there.
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