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How Meghan Markle is using her first royal tour to fight the good feminist fight

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 18: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a Reception hosted by the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr. Anthony Howard QC at Government House Victoria on October 18, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. . The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

The Duchess of Sussex’s schedule has attracted a huge amount of interest – and for good reason.

Meghan Markle’s official biography on the Royal Family website makes one thing abundantly clear: she will never stop fighting for “social justice and women’s empowerment”.

We do not doubt it, either: since her star-studded wedding to Prince Harry, we have seen Meghan speak out in support of Ireland’s abortion referendum her seal of approval, don black as part of the Time’s Up movement, and work alongside the women who were affected by the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

So it should come as little surprise to learn that the schedule for Meghan and Harry’s first royal tour, during which the couple will visit Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand, has a pretty huge focus on women’s rights .

As reported by The Times, the Duchess of Sussex will “make several speeches” during their trip – one of which will be delivered at a reception held by New Zealand’s Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, to mark 125 years of women’s suffrage in the country.

The newspaper adds that Meghan is also scheduled to “undertake engagements without her husband” – one of which is a “morning tea” in Fiji, hosted by the British High Commissioner.

It is here that the Duchess will learn about women’s organisations across the country – in particular, the UN Women’s project “Markets for Change”.

Funded largely by the Australian Government, the project works with 20 market sites across Fiji Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to help ensure they are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory for female marketplace vendors (despite the fact that women make up the majority of market vendors in the Pacific, they are not usually involved in the decision-making processes that shape their workplaces).

It is an initiative which is no doubt close to Meghan’s heart, particularly as she was once the UN Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership – a position which allowed her to meet with female parliamentarian leaders in Kigali and visit a Gihembe refugee camp, where women were working on leadership and empowerment at a grassroots level.

No wonder, then, that she has arranged not just to learn about the project, but to it in action at Suva Market.

Once again, we are reminded of Priyanka Chopra’s glowing praise of her friend Meghan.

“Meghan is an important influencer in a world that needs strong public figures to respect and look up to. People the world can be inspired by,” the actress stated.

“Meghan, standing shoulder to shoulder with Harry, will be a princess for the people.”

We don’t doubt it.

Images: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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