Meghan Markle Is Here to Remind You Women's Suffrage Isn't Just About Voting
The Duchess of Sussex delivered a speech on feminism and equality in New Zealand.
Markle greeted the crowd in Maori, the language of New Zealand’s Indigenous people, before thanking and honoring the country.
“I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolizes,” she said of the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.
In 2018, governments around the world still restrict women from fully exercising the basic human right. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, women were only allowed to participate in local elections as recently as 2015.
Markle, who’s called herself a “proud” feminist, went on: “Because yes, women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness.”
Markle wanted the audience to understand why empowering women is a win for all underrepresented groups of people.
“Women’s suffrage is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people, including those members of society who have been marginalized whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community,” she said.
"Bravo New Zealand for championing the right of women to vote 125 years ago." — The Duchess of Sussex, as she and The Duke joined PM @JacindaArdern and @GovGeneralNZ Dame Patsy Reddy to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand. #RoyalVisitNZpic.twitter.com/zpFhyPiE8r— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 28, 2018
Gender equality isn’t new territory for Markle, who spoke last week on the importance of girls’ education in Fiji as the first stop on the royal tour. The UN Women’s advocate, World Vision Global Ambassador, and One Young World Counselor is committed to the cause.
Markle concluded with a powerful quote. “In the words of your suffragette, Kate Sheppard, ‘All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome,'” she said.